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USDA revises U.S. standards for grapefruit and oranges

Christian Fernsby |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is revising the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California and Arizona) and U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California and Arizona) to remove the Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) tables.

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Topics: USDA    U.S.   

AMS is converting the AQL tables to show the percentage of defects permitted in each grade instead of the acceptable number of allowable defective fruit in each grade; revising the minimum sample size to 25 fruit; updating size classifications; removing references to Temple oranges from the orange standards; and more closely aligning terminology in both grade standards with current Florida and California citrus standards.

The changes modernize the standards and provide the industry greater marketing flexibility to meet growing consumer demand.

There are approximately 170 producers of grapefruit and oranges in the production area and 22 handlers subject to regulation under the Order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts less than $1,000,000, and small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $30,000,000.

According to Texas Valley Citrus Committee (TVCC) data, the average price for Texas citrus during the 2018-19 season prices ranged from $11.69 to $25.78 per carton. The average price was $22.23 per carton ($11.69 plus $25.78 equals $37.47, divided by 2 equals $18.74 per carton) and total shipments were 6.6 million cartons.

Using the average price, shipment information, and number of handlers, and assuming a normal distribution, the majority of handlers would have average annual receipts of less than $30,000,000 ($22.23 per carton times 6.6 million cartons equals $123.7 million, divided by 22 equals $5.6 million per handler).

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