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LARGE CITRUS CROP GOOD NEWS FOR CONSUMERS

 LARGE CITRUS CROP GOOD NEWS FOR CONSUMERS
 LAKELAND, Fla., October 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's forecast by the


U.S. Department of Agriculture of a much larger orange and grapefruit crop in the coming year ultimately will benefit consumers, according to the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC).
 The USDA estimates that Florida's orange and grapefruit crop will be the third largest in the state's history. Florida's orange crop will reach 186.0 million boxes this year, up 33 percent from last season's harvest. The USDA estimate for Florida's grapefruit crop is 54.0 million boxes, up 27 percent from last year. Production of Florida's specialty varieties -- tangerines, temples and tangelos -- is expected to reach 8.6 million boxes, up 15 percent from a year ago.
 "Hurricane Andrew and the damaging tornadoes of this past week all skirted Florida's orange and grapefruit groves," said Dr. Dan Gunter, executive director of the FDOC. "The larger crops will definitely be good news for consumers. Big crops historically translate into more favorable consumer prices."
 Based on the report, Florida orange juice production is expected to total 1.06 billion gallons for the 1992-93 season, up 30.4 percent from production last season.
 Gunter said the more-plentiful supply and more-favorable prices will make 100 percent pure Florida orange juice an even better value for consumers. "Lower prices make Florida orange juice an even more attractive, nutritious beverage alternative," he said.
 Florida dominates U.S. citrus production, accounting for three- fourths of the nation's annual citrus crop and more than 94 percent of the orange juice supply. "Florida's subtropical climate, warm nights and sandy soil make the state perfect for growing the world's best citrus and we now have more high-quality products to meet consumer demand," Gunter said.
 Supported by intense scientific and technical research, Florida is poised to produce increasingly larger crops throughout the 1990s as new plantings mature. "Florida's citrus growers have 92 million trees in the ground, the largest inventory in history," said Gunter. "They have made a long-term commitment to produce greater volumes of top-quality citrus products to satisfy the growing demand here in the United States while building strong export markets."
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: John Cline or Patrick Carle of Hill and Knowlton, Inc. 212-697-5600, for Florida Department of Citrus/ CO: Florida Department of Citrus ST: Florida IN: FOD SU:


AH -- NY093 -- 7999 10/08/92 15:37 EDT
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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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