The Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant (CRBG) program continues to move forward. As of Friday, the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) had received 718 applications and submitted more than $23.6 million to financial processing. FDEM staff has been working overtime to ensure the payments are received in an efficient manner. FDEM and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency staff have a conference call scheduled this week to discuss crop insurance requirements in order to initiate planning for Part 2, payments 2 and 3 disbursements.
In addition, after guidance provided by USDA staff, the CRBG program will begin using April 16, 2013, as the qualifying date for young trees.
FDEM has also put a formalized schedule in place so staff can monitor the CRBG hotline and email account to ensure all submitted documents are retrieved and added to the corresponding application files. Weekly check-ins and staff trainings are helping reduce errors.
FDEM Project Consultant Jared Davis will be hosting another round meetings to assist growers with the application process. The meetings will be as follows:
- March 14, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Indian River Citrus League/Farm Service Agency office, Fort Pierce
- March 15, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Florida Citrus Mutual headquarters, Bartow
- April 18, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Highlands County Citrus Growers Association office, Sebring
- April 19, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Florida Citrus Mutual headquarters, Bartow
To make appointments for any of these dates, growers should call the Block Grant Hotline at 863-800-0342.
Source: Florida Citrus Mutual