TALLAHASSEE – While federal relief for Florida growers impacted by Hurricane Irma may be getting closer to reality, citrus farmers found no surprises as a historically devastating growing season formally came to a close Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture closed out its monthly forecast report for the current growing season without veering from its June projection, made when essentially all the fruit was picked. The latest numbers showed that growers produced 34.7 percent fewer oranges and half the number of grapefruits than a year ago.

“The bottom line for Florida is we had no change from the previous forecast,” said Mark Hudson, U.S. Department of Agriculture state statistician.

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