The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) show that U.S. citrus production has declined from the 2019-20 season. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has shown that overall citrus utilized production totaled 6.9 million tons for the 2020-21 season. The figure represents a decline of 12 percent from the previous season. It marks the second year in a row of declining production numbers.
While not as substantial as volume, citrus value fell by three percent compared to last year. Data shows the value of the U.S. citrus crop was $3.31 billion (packinghouse-door equivalent) for the 2020-2021 season. While grapefruit value improved by 11 percent over last year, orange value dropped by seven percent. The production value of tangerines and mandarins increased two percent, while lemon value saw a slight decline from last season. The overall value of U.S. citrus production has remained relatively consistent over the seven years, despite the marginal decline for 2021.
California accounted for 60 percent of total domestic citrus production. Utilized production in California decreased by three percent from the 2019-20 season. All orange production fell by seven percent for California to 50.1 million boxes. Mandarin production increased by 25 percent, while grapefruit production declined by 17 percent from the previous year. Although estimates for the 2020-2021 California Valencia oranges and grapefruit are preliminary, as the marketing season is not yet complete.
Utilized citrus production has been on a downward trend over the past 10 years. While California has largely conformed to the national trend, value has been increasing over the last three years. National citrus acreage has also been on a downward trend, with the last three marketing years showing a loss of bearing acreage. Figures for the 2020-2021 season show U.S. bearing citrus acreage at 668,100 acres, which is 13,200 acres below last year and 19,800 acres less than 2018-2019.