The 2019/20 orange harvest of the São Paulo and Triângulo / Sudoeste Mineiro citrus belt has been re-estimated to 384.87 million boxes, according to an update published this Tuesday (11) by Fundecitrus. The value is only 0.11% less than the previous forecast, of December 2019, and 1.03% less than the first estimate, of May 2019. Of the total harvest, about 26.85 million boxes must be produced in the Mineiro Triangle. The coordinator of the Crop Estimation Survey (PES) of Fundecitrus, Vinícius Trombin, explains that the slight reduction in the harvest was mainly influenced by the variation in rainfall in the regions that make up the citrus belt. “This occurred due to the volume of rainfall below the average accumulated since the beginning of the harvest until January 2020 and also due to greening [the worst disease in citrus production worldwide], which affected the total value”, he says. “At that moment, with 96% of the harvest already harvested, it is possible to verify that in places where it rained less, the size of the fruits became smaller. In the regions with high incidence of greening, however, the fall in fruit was greater, showing the correlation between the disease and the loss of production”, he evaluates. The third harvest estimate brings information on production in the five sectors of the citrus park: North (regions of Altinópolis, Bebedouro and Triângulo Mineiro), Northwest (regions of São José do Rio Preto and Votuporanga), Center (regions of Brotas, Matão and Duartina), South (Porto Ferreira and Limeira regions) and Southwest (Avaré and Itapetininga regions). With the exception of the North and Northwest, all sectors have accumulated negative rainfall (see the graph below), which inhibited the growth of oranges. Despite the great volume of rains in early February, in the period from May 2019 to January 2020 it rained 836 mm on average between regions, 14% below the historical average of 975 mm, according to data from Somar Meteorologia. The average weight of oranges is 155.5 grams, which makes 262.3 fruits necessary to compose a 40.8 kg box (number 0.88% less than the initial projection). In the South and Southwest, oranges were smaller than average, with 154.5 g and 150.6 g, respectively (see map below). In the Southwest are the regions of Avaré, Itapetininga and Limeira, which had their worst rainfall in the last five harvests.