2024-25 orange harvest in the São Paulo and Minas Gerais citrus belt is estimated at 232,38 million boxes

The number represents a drop of 24,36% compared to the previous harvest; reduction is due to unfavorable weather conditions in producing regions

13.05.2024 | 14:09 (UTC -3)
Daniele Merola
Photo: Disclosure
Photo: Disclosure

In a press conference at its headquarters in Araraquara, São Paulo (SP), Fundecitrus announced that orange production in the 2024-2025 season in the citrus belt of São Paulo and Triângulo/Southwest Minas Gerais is expected to reach 232,38 million boxes of 40,8 kilos. The number represents a drop of 24,36% compared to the previous harvest. 

According to Vinícius Trombin, coordinator of the Fundecitrus Harvest Estimation Research, unfavorable weather conditions were a determining factor in the reduction in production. “The dry and hot weather impacted the production of orange trees, in addition to an aggravated scenario with a high incidence of greening in plantations. Temperatures have risen sharply since the arrival of the El Niño phenomenon that took hold in June last year and caused greater evapotranspiration and a reduction in soil moisture. In total there were three heat waves, after the first flowering”, he details. 

Successive heat waves - the first in September, the second in November and the third in December - caused a significant drop in newly formed fruits. This condition, combined with the rains, observed from December/23 to February/24, led to an extraordinarily late flowering. 

Even so, the multiple flowerings were unable to compensate for the initial loss, which resulted in a reduction in the number of fruits per tree, by 29%. With this reduction, it is expected that the oranges will reach larger sizes than those harvested in the last harvest, around 5%. “Less competition between fruits will make them grow more. This is helping to minimize losses”, explains Trombin.

The Harvest Estimation Survey is carried out by Fundecitrus in partnership with Markestrat, and professors from the Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting of Ribeirão Preto (FEA-RP/USP) and the Faculty of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences - Jaboticabal Campus ( Unesp).  

Importance of Harvest Estimation Research

In the year in which the Harvest Estimation Survey (PES) completes ten years, Fundecitrus (Citriculture Defense Fund, aimed at the sustainable development of the citrus park), reaffirms important movements in the sector to guarantee data transparency, development of science and biotechnology, the advancement of technology transfer and sustainable practices in Brazilian orchards.

“PES’ work became a significant milestone in the development of agribusiness and changed the scenario of Brazilian citrus farming, promoting progress in the democratization of information and facilitating strategic planning for all actors in the orange production chain”, says Juliano Ayres, manager -general of Fundecitrus.

In addition to the expectation of production in this harvest, what is new this year is the research developed in partnership between Embrapa and Fundecitrus, which identified more than 300 species of wild animals in the so-called Brazilian citrus belt. Mainly, birds and mammals were found circulating or living in production environments on five orange-producing farms. The scientific research work also estimated around 36 million tons of carbon “trapped” in orange trees, in the soil and in areas of native vegetation.

The project was selected by the Farmer Innovation Fund of the UK company Innocent Drinks, which financed the study. This fund encourages farmers to transition to low-carbon agriculture, increased biodiversity and fair practices.

LS Tractor February