Florida’s citrus crop value falls

LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) — Losses from Hurricane Irma last year sent the value of the 2017-18 Florida citrus crop plummeting 41 percent.

The Lakeland Ledger reports that’s a preliminary estimate of last season’s crop value released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA set the total 2017-18 Florida citrus crop value at nearly $551.2 million, down from a revised estimate of $927 million for the state’s 2016-17 citrus crop. A year ago, the agency estimated the 2016-17 crop at $780.7 million.

Florida citrus production has dropped more than 70 percent since the arrival of the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening.