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Florida’s citrus industry ended its growing season on a slight uptick, regaining the Sunshine State’s dominance in orange production over California.
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News Service Of Florida

Amid ongoing struggles in Florida's citrus industry, the Department of Citrus appears to be turning attention to studying orange juice consumption.

The department said Tuesday it is looking for three separate studies that would assess various aspects of orange juice consumption, including how it can affect people’s moods when drinking it as a snack.

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.

This is citrus harvesting season in Florida, where oranges make up the largest part of an industry that contributes $8 billion a year to the state economy. Yet, few know that the citrus business owes much of its success to the U.S. military.

Experts predict a spike in the price of Florida’s citrus this upcoming harvest season, meaning slightly more revenue for the state’s farmers. But an unexpected increase in orange production could keep retail prices low.

Citrus greening is a bacterial disease that’s cut Florida’s citrus crops in half since it first struck the state’s trees in 2005. The lower supply has helped farmers fetch higher prices per orange. But, former University of Florida professor of agricultural economics Tom Spreen says farmers are still having a hard time breaking even.