Florida orange crops are at record-highs, but the down side is that orange growers can’t export them as easily to other countries due to global competition and the lack of trade agreements beneficial to the citrus industry. Looks like the trade deficit is hurting our orange growers. Here’s the short snippet from today’s St. Petersburg Times:
RECORD FLA. ORANGE CROP SEEN: Florida orange growers will produce their largest crop ever this season, an unwelcome prospect for an industry struggling with low prices and declining demand, agricultural forecasters said Friday. The Florida Agricultural Statistics Service predicted Florida growers would produce 252-million boxes of oranges during the 2003-2004 season, an almost 25 percent increase over last season’s 203-million boxes. Each box holds about 90 pounds of oranges. The previous record high was 244-million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
We need to be able to create demand for our oranges overseas, rather than create it for our overseas competitors by failing to create beneficial trade policies that positively effect our orange growers here in Florida.