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USDA projects 2012-2013 Florida orange crop


LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Citrus harvesting began earlier this month and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that Florida's orange crop will increase by 5 percent from last year.






The Ledger of Lakeland (http://bit.ly/UQ2VM2) reports the USDA forecast projected Florida growers will produce 154 million boxes of oranges. It estimated the state's grapefruit crop at 20.3 million boxes, up 8 percent; tangerines at 4.4 million boxes, up 3 percent; and tangelos at 1.2 million boxes, a 4 percent increase.






Citrus harvesting should run into June.






The USDA says Polk County leads the state's citrus-producing counties with 82,572 grove acres and 9.9 million trees in 2012. It historically leads in citrus production, as it did in the 2011-12 season.






It ranked No. 1 in orange, tangerine and tangelo production and third in grapefruit.






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Information from: The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), http://www.theledger.com









Copyright 2012 The AP.



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