WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -- As many Florida citrus growers have feared, the smallest orange crop in 24 years will get smaller as pre-harvest fruit drop continues to plague groves.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday shaved four million orange boxes -- or three percent -- off the projected 2013-14 orange harvest.
This was the first monthly update since its initial Nov. 8 forecast. The new estimate is 121 million boxes.
The report cites historically low fruit size and record high pre-harvest drop -- both of which attributed to the millions of trees infected by the deadly citrus greening bacterial disease -- as the reasons for the reduction.
The new estimate is still above the previous low orange crop of 110.2 million boxes harvested in the 1989-90 season.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.