MIAMI, Fl. (WLNS) – Prices for orange juice are on the rise and are expected to keep going up.
In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture projects Florida will have its worst year for citrus production since the Great Depression.
Devastating storms in 2022 stripped trees.
Hurricane Ian alone led to $250 billion in losses, according to the University of Florida.
But growers are facing another major problem called Citrus Greening Disease.
“Greening is sort of like cancer some live with it, others get them in a week’s time. we figure 100% of the groves are now infected,” said citrus grower John Barben.
Greening causes oranges to fall prematurely. and once a tree is infected there’s no cure.
That is leading to more expensive orange juice at the grocery store. Prices are up 9.1% in the past year according to Nielson IQ.
Patrick Penfield is a professor of supply chain management at Syracuse University and expects prices to keep rising.
“There are just not enough oranges,” he said.
Barben now wonders if these groves will hold on for the next generation.