Oranges are grown throughout the world. Sweet oranges, the most commonly cultivated variety as reported by Texas A&M University, do best in a subtropical climate. Severe freezes can kill trees. Even a few hours of temperatures down to -2.78 degrees C freezes and destroys the fruit. In areas where freezing can be an occasional problem there are preventive measures, such as smudge pots, that can help to lessen the damage caused by cold.
Oranges are grown in several different areas of the United States, most notably in Texas, Arizona, California and Florida. The different climates in these areas produce oranges with characteristics different from one another. For example, a sweet orange that is grown in the hot, dry climate of Texas will have a thin-skinned fruit that has yellowish-orange flesh. The cooler, more humid weather in California and Arizona produces bright orange flesh and a much thicker peel.
Sweet oranges are native to Northeastern India and are still grown there commercially. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 60 per cent of the oranges produced in India consumed by local citizens, with 40 per cent available for sale to larger markets. Some oranges are processed into products such as orange juice, but most are sold without processing. Growing methods in India are nonintensive, resulting in small harvests. Each farmer works independently, and much of the fruit produced is wasted due to a lack of a unified marketing effort among the growers.
China is the one of the largest producers of oranges, ranking fourth in the world in 2009, according to a report from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. China's production of oranges continues increasing, as does the country's consumption. The result is that while China produces huge amounts of oranges every year, very few of these are available for export. Some of these oranges are processed for products such as juice, but most are consumed fresh by Chinese citizens.
Brazil produced the largest portion of oranges grown for juice in 2001. The University of Florida reports that 45 per cent of the world's juice orange total comes from the Sao Paulo area. Brazil produces even more oranges than this 45 per cent, but about 25 per cent of the production is consumed locally, reducing the amount available to the local market. Brazil continues leading the world in the production of oranges for juice, despite the fact that the production per acre is almost half that of oranges grown in Florida.
- Texas A&M University: Texas Citrus and Sub-tropical Fruits
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Projection of World Production and Consumption of Citrus
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Opportunities and Challenges of Indian Tropical Fruits
- University of Florida: Comparative Costs of Growing Citrus in Florida and Sao Paulo, Brazil