(CBS NEWSPATH) – John Barben is a fourth-generation farmer but has never seen a situation quite like this. Citrus growers across the state of Florida are struggling to produce enough oranges.

“Supply is going down, it continues to go down,” Barben said as he walked through his orange groves. The USDA projects Florida will have its worst year for citrus production since the great depression. Devastating storms in 2022 stripped trees of fruit. Hurricane Ian alone led to $247 million in losses, according to the University of Florida.

Growers are also facing another major problem called citrus greening disease. “Greening is sort of like cancer, some live with it, others it gets them within a week,” said Barben. “We figure 100 percent of the groves are now infected.” Greening causes oranges to fall prematurely. According to Barben, a healthy tree typically produces 2-3 boxes of oranges. But a tree with greening usually only produces half a box.

That hit to supply is leading to more expensive orange juice at the grocery store. Prices are up 9.1% in the past year, according to Nielsen IQ. “In the state of Florida, they’re going to be producing 60% less citrus than what they produced last year,” said Syracuse University Professor of Supply Chain Management Patrick Penfield. “Which is just incredible.”

Penfield says OJ makers are importing oranges from California and Brazil, but it’s not enough to make up for the losses in Florida. He expects prices for orange juice to keep rising. “It’s a supply and demand issue. There’s just not enough oranges,” Penfield said.

Barben is from a long line of farmers and wonders if his groves will be around for his kids. “Yeah, it could go away, you never know about tomorrow, you just have faith, and you move on,” Barben said. Scientists are working on new treatments to save trees infected with greening disease but right now there is no cure.