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January freeze damaged 4 percent of Florida oranges

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida citrus growers lost more than 4 percent of their orange crop and more than 3 percent of their grapefruit crop during last month's freezing weather.

A citrus forecast report released Tuesday puts Florida's orange crop in February at 129 million boxes, down from the estimate of 135 million boxes in January. Each box weighs about 90 pounds.

The grapefruit crop estimate for February is 18.8 million boxes, down from 19.5 million boxes in January.

If these estimates don't change, Florida's orange crop will be 21 percent smaller than last season's crop and the grapefruit crop will be 13 percent smaller.

Florida is the nation's largest orange producer. The bulk of the state's fruit is used to make orange juice.