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Sep 22, 2:12 AM EDT

Worst case scenarios explored for state's iconic citrus crop


LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Economists are telling the state's Citrus Commission that Florida orange production could sink by another two-thirds in the next 10 years if better solutions to the fatal bacterial disease citrus greening don't arise.

The worst case scenario was presented to the commission this week. The Lakeland Ledger (http://bit.ly/2cLvBGh) reports that experts presented three forecasts based on different computer models of the future, including one based on no research breakthroughs on greening and no change in current production trends.

The pessimistic model projects Florida growers harvesting 27.3 million boxes of oranges in the 2026-27 season. That compares to 81.6 million orange boxes harvested in the recently completed 2015-16 season and 242 million boxes in 2003-04, the last season unaffected by greening or hurricanes.

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

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