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History and Facts:
Oranges are divided into two groups-sweet and sour. The sweet orange, most commonly grown and eaten in the United States, is believed to have originated in southern China. The other type, the bitter (sour, Seville, or Bigrade) orange, originated in India. Both kinds of oranges were brought to America by the Spanish and Portuguese in the 1500's.

Floridas 244 million-box orange crop in 1997-98 was the largest in history, but depressed prices keep growers from reaping record profits. The on-tree price of $3.61 for a 90-pound box accounted for a little over $880 million.

The overall value, with a delivered-in price of $5.41 a box, topped $1.3 billion for the second season in a row.

Florida growers accounted for 76.1 percent of the nations orange crop in 1997-98.

Florida is the second largest producer of oranges in the world following Brazil. In order of quantity produced, the top 10 orange-growing countries are: Brazil, United States, Mexico, Spain, Italy, China, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Greece.

Polk is Floridas leading orange producing county with more than 84,000 acres producing more than 34 million boxes, valued at more than $125 million in 1997-98. The primary varieties of Florida oranges are Navel, Hamlin, Pineapple Orange and Valencia.

Nutritional Value:
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, with one orange providing more than the recommended daily  allowance. One medium orange has 50 calories and is a good source of dietary fiber.

Oranges should be kept at 32 to 34 degrees fahrenheit,
with a relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent. Typical shelf life is from 56 to 84 days.

October through July