- Citrus has been farmed commercially in Florida since the mid-1800s. The first citrus was brought to the New World in 1493 by Christopher Columbus. In the mid-1500s one of the early Spanish explorers, most likely Ponce de Leon, planted the first orange trees around St. Augustine, Florida.
- Today it is a $9 billion industry, employing nearly 76,000 Floridians.
- Florida is second only to Brazil in global orange juice production.
- Florida produces more than 70 percent of the United States’ supply of citrus, with major overseas export markets including Canada, Japan, France and the U.K.
- More than 80 percent of America’s orange juice is made from Florida-grown oranges. Nearly 91 percent of Florida citrus is processed into orange and grapefruit juices.
- In Florida, there are nearly 524,640 acres of citrus groves and more than 68 million citrus trees. Most citrus is grown in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula, where probability for a freeze is lowest.
From: Florida Citrus