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Citrus Industry

Know Florida

Circa 1935

The production of citrus fruit is the leading agricultural industry of the State, representing an investment of from $350,000,000 to $500,000,000, with an estimated average annual production for the past ten years of 24,683,281 boxes, with a gross return of $46,322,179, from a grove area of approximately 350,000 acres. Some varieties of citrus fruit are produced in practically every county in the State; the commercial crop, however, is confined largely to the central and south portions.

Types range in order of commercial importance as follows: oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, limes, lemons, and kumquats. To those must be added a number of hybrids of increasing importance to the industry.

Florida orange shipments have increased from 600,000 boxes for the season 1884-85 to 19,000,000 boxes for the season 1930-31. Grapefruit shipments increased from 12,000 boxes during the seasons 1899-1900 to 16,000,000 boxes for the season 1930-31. (This was Florida's heaviest citrus production year).

Shipments to market usually begin in September and extended through July. Citrus in north and northwest Florida is largely confined to the production of the Satsuma orange.

Florida ranks first in the United States in the production of grapefruit; second in the production of oranges, and first in the production of tangerines.

Florida Citrus Estimate

Total production of Florida citrus for the season of 1935-36 is estimated at 25,000,000 boxes, of which 15,000,000 are oranges, including tangerines, and 10,000,000 boxes grapefruit. This represents fruit for all purposes and includes canning and local consumption as well as the shipped crop. Total production for last year was 32,800,000 boxes, of which 17,600,000 were oranges and tangerines, and 15,200,000 boxes grapefruit.

The commercial or shipped crop is estimated at 19,300,000 boxes, of which 13,100,000 boxes are oranges, including tangerines, and 6,200,000 boxes grapefruit. Commercial production for last season was 24,400,000 boxes, of which 15,700,000 boxes were oranges and tangerines, and 8,700,000 boxes grapefruit. This estimate is for fresh fruit shipped out of the State by rail, boat and truck and does not include the canned fruit. Actual shipments may be more or less than this amount, since market conditions and the volume used by canners are both factors in determining the amount available for shipment as fresh fruit.

Total Crop    
  Florida Estimated
  1934-35 1935-36
Oranges & Tangerines 17,600,000 15,000,000
Early & Mid-season 10,700,000 8,700,000
Valencias 4,900,000 4,700,000
Tangerines 2,000,000 1,600,000
Grapefruit, all 15,200,000 10,000,000
Seedless 4,100,000 3,200,000
Other 11,100,000 6,800,000
Total 32,800,000 25,000,000
Valencias 26,950,000 n/a
Navels & Miscellaneous 18,990,000 15,192,000
Grapefruit 2,167,000 2,348,000
Oranges 560,000 585,000
Grapefruit 2,750,000 3,080,000
Oranges 170,000 270,000
Grapefruit 1,240,000 2,160,000
Commercial Crop    
  1934–35 1935–36
Oranges & Tangerines 15,700,000 13,100,000
Early & Mid-season 9,600,000 7,600,000
Valencias 4,400,000 4,200,000
Tangerines 1,700,000 1,300,000
Grapefruit, all 8,700,000 6,200,000
Seedless 3,100,000 2,600,000
Other 5,600,000 3,600,000
Total 24,400,000 19,300,000

Excerpt from "The Citrus Industry" Know Florida, Issued by the State Department of Agriculture, Tallahassee, Circa 1935, pgs. 12-13.


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