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THE DISPOSITION OF ORANGES PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES by Sidney R. Jumper Tennessee Polytechnic Institute The orange industry in the United States has undergone several important changes during the present century. Of particular note is the rapid rise in the popularity of the fruit, for since 1900 orange production and consumption have increased 10 times faster than the population . This increase has resulted from a wide belief in the value of the orange as a health food, from advances in the methods and technology of transportation, communication, and marketing, rising relative income and living standards, and successful advertising programs. The intention of this study is to present some of the changes that have occurred in the marketing of oranges during recent years, and to show a few of the major effects of these changes on producing areas. Orange Producing Areas in the United States California has dominated orange production in the United States for most of the present century, assuming its position of leadership after freezes destroyed most of the Florida industry in the St. John's River Valley in 1894-95 (Figure 1). Florida regained first place in 1945 and during 1959-60 produced 72 per cent of the nation's supply, compared to 23 per cent for California. Oranges are also grown commercially in Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana, but their combined production has little consequence on the national market. Texas and Arizona each supply about one or two per cent of the nation's oranges, while Louisiana has never attained as much as one per cent of the national total. Alabama and Mississippi began producing minor quantities of oranges in 1899, but withdrew from the commercial market after 1942. Shifts have also taken place in producing areas within the major orange growing states. After 1895 Florida moved most of its groves to the central part of the state where the numerous lakes that dot the landscape in that area provide some protection from cold air masses in addition to supplying irrigation water during dry periods (Figure 2). Moreover, central Florida is characterized by considerable local relief, and growers normally plant their orchards on slopes and hilltops in order to avail themselves of the advantage of air drainage. In California much of the land in the Los Angeles Basin that was formerly devoted to orange groves has been taken up by housing developments , shopping centers, highways, and other aspects of urban growth. The Los Angeles Basin remains the principal source of oranges, how19 ?--------1--------1--------?--------1--------1 ORANGE L PRODUCTION California Florida Fig. 1 ever, accounting for about 45 per cent of all shipments during 1959 (Figure 3). The Santa Clara River Valley, north of Los Angeles, and the southern portion of the Central Valley furnished most of the remainder . Marketing Oranges Outstanding developments in the marketing of oranges have paralleled the changes that occurred with respect to producing areas. Items that 20 ORANGE TREES OF BEARING AGE 1958-59 09 40 Miles Each Dot Represents 100,000 Trees SOURCE: FLORIDA STATE MARKETING BUREAU Fig. 2 can be most conveniently prepared have the greatest marketing advantages among American housewives, and orange products are no exception. Recognition of this fact has resulted in a phenomenal growth in orange processing. The growth of processing, in turn, has contributed greatly to the overall per capita increase in orange consumption. Processing Successful efforts in the canning of citrus juices were reported as early as 1914 and canned grapefruit juice and segments became fairly 21 ORANGE TREES OF ALL AGES 1954 Each Dot Represents 150,000 Trees N K 100 Miles SOURCE: U.S. CENSUS OF AGRICULTURE, 1954 Fig. 3 popular during the 1920's. Canned orange juice, on the other hand, was not widely accepted on the national market until the 1940's. Discoveries made by researchers during World War II changed the entire character of the processing industry after the war. Frozen citrus concentrate was produced successfully from Florida oranges during the 1943-44 season and received its first commercial test the following year.1 By the 1958-59 season the concentrate industry had grown so rapidly that it consumed 61 per cent of all Florida oranges.2 Moreover, the sale...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-6929
Print ISSN
0038-366X
Pages
pp. 19-31
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-03
Open Access
No
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