Florida's Citrus Crisis: Smallest Crop in a Century Leads to Higher Prices

Florida's orange trees have suffered from hurricane winds and disease this year, causing a 20-year decline in citrus production.

Greening disease, which causes trees to produce green and bitter fruits, has infected almost all of Florida's groves, leading to smaller and less succulent ripe oranges.

This year's dismal harvest probably is predicted to make already expensive orange juice even more so.

A gallon of orange juice has climbed above $10, rising 17.5 percent since the beginning of 2022. The trend is expected to continue.

U.S. manufacturers typically source extra oranges from Brazil, which is also experiencing a shortage after heavy rains rotted some citrus trees.

Prices are going to stay high, and demand is going to go down because consumers can't afford it and may not like the taste.

The citrus crisis is causing concern for consumers, who will have to accept a higher price for their juice or abandon the Florida orange.

Each difficult harvest erodes Florida's citrus business and drives prices up, making it less likely that the infrastructure will still be in place when the greening disease is defeated.

Farmers are considering switching from the state's flagship product to hemp or other crops, and scientists are working to develop citrus trees that are resistant to greening.

The citrus crisis highlights the importance of diversification and innovation in agriculture. It also asks for quick solutions.

As Florida's orange groves continue to face challenges, it remains to be seen how the state's citrus industry will adapt and evolve.

As consumers, we can support Florida's citrus industry by buying local orange juice, trying other citrus fruits, and advocating for sustainable agriculture.