Tell Senators to Pursue Disaster Relief Funding for Florida Agriculture

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In response to the recent wave of hurricanes pummeling our shores, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion disaster relief package last week. However, USDA-specific relief funding for Florida agriculture was not included. Hurricane Irma was the largest, most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, engulfing the entire state and leaving behind…

Jonathan Brown Discusses Crop Forecast, Irma Damage

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Citrus grower Jonathan Brown of Bethel Farms in Arcadia reacts to the Oct. 12 initial U.S. Department of Agriculture citrus crop forecast of 54 million boxes of Florida oranges. He also discusses damage from Hurricane Irma. “I was a little bit impressed that it (the forecast) came out where it did,” Brown says. “I was…

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hears About Citrus Damage

Citrus was a hot topic Thursday morning during the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee meeting in Tallahassee to discuss hurricane damage to Florida agriculture. Led by Chairperson Denise Grimsley, the committee heard from two sets of panelists as they explained the damage in their respective industries. The Florida Department of Citrus was represented by citrus grower…

Hurricane Irma Impact on Florida Orange Production

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) included forecasts of the United States and Florida 2017-2018 orange production in the Crop Production report released Oct. 12, 2017.  The report does not directly forecast the impact of Hurricane Irma on the 2017-2018 production. Although it is difficult to know the exact impact on…

HCCGA Executive Director on Citrus Crop Forecast

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its crop forecast on Thursday, some were a bit surprised at the all-orange total for Florida coming in at 54 million boxes. A large portion of this report was put together before Hurricane Irma hit the state. AgNet Media’s Josh McGill talked with Ray Royce, executive director of…

Mutual Updates Efforts to Obtain Hurricane Irma Aid

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Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows updates the grower association’s efforts to obtain aid for growers in the wake of Hurricane Irma. “It’s been a month since Irma hit, and we at Mutual have been very busy understanding the gravity of the situation and communicating that with our congressional delegation and leaders with the USDA,”…

FCM Says Irma Damage Threw Off USDA Citrus Crop Estimate

Florida's largest citrus grower organization said Thursday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) initial estimate of the 2017-2018 citrus crop is well above the crop predicted by the results of their grower damage survey. Florida Citrus Mutual believes the agency could not accurately account for the full extent of the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma.…

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Putnam on First Citrus Crop Forecast of the Season

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Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season: “Hurricane Irma’s path could not have been more lethal to Florida citrus. I am concerned that today’s forecast does not accurately estimate the damages to our industry, given…

Citrus Crop Forecast: Florida All Oranges at 54 Million Boxes

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The 2017-2018 Florida all-orange forecast released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is 54 million boxes, 21 percent less than last season’s final production. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida Citrus Mutual both issued statements indicating they are concerned that the forecast did not accurately account for the full damage inflicted by…

Putnam Questions Citrus Estimate After Irma

disaster

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam cast doubt Wednesday on the first crop estimate for the citrus growing season, as federal officials prepare to release the estimate Thursday. In Washington, D.C. to discuss federal assistance after Hurricane Irma, Putnam suggested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for the 2017-2018 growing season may be too high.…

Commissioner Putnam Releases Initial Hurricane Damage Estimate

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has released an initial estimate on agriculture damage from Hurricane Irma. The estimate will serve as a baseline for policymakers as they create a disaster relief package for those impacted by the storm. Although these estimates are not final, they are a starting point. The document includes estimates on crop…

FDACS Promotes the Abandoned Grove Initiative

Research shows that abandoned citrus groves can harbor unwanted pests and citrus diseases. Therefore, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control is raising more awareness about its Abandoned Grove Initiative to help destroy those safe havens for deadly pests. Callie Walker, chief of the FDACS Bureau of…

Gmitter on Surviving HLB, What to Plant and Lemon Potential

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In a wide-ranging talk at Citrus Expo in August, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher Fred Gmitter discussed many topics important to growers. Subjects included making variety decisions when planting, surviving HLB, and the potential for lemons in Florida. He summarizes his discussion: “We can give information (about citrus varieties), but…

$25 Million Citrus Emergency Loan Program

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Governor Rick Scott activated a $25 million Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program to support citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide interest-free loans to citrus growers that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm. The application period will begin next…

A Look Back at 100 Years of Citrus Innovation

By Beverly James, Alec Richman, Brad Buck, Samantha Grenrock and Tom Nordlie The year was 1917. In April, the United States entered World War I. Florida’s population was fast approaching 1 million, and agriculture was the state’s most important economic driver. Citrus cultivation, introduced to Florida 400 years earlier by Spanish explorers, had spawned an…

$760 Million: Initial Estimate of Irma’s Florida Citrus Damage

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced on Oct. 4 that the preliminary agricultural damages caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida total more than $2.5 billion. In an initial report, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimated losses for each segment of agriculture. The preliminary economic assessments account for current crop losses…

Fresh Fruit Growers Must Comply with FSMA Regulations

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Travis Chapin, state specialized Extension agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses deadlines and some requirements for fresh fruit growers to comply with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “The compliance date for the largest farms, those with over $500,000 in annual produce sales, is January 26,…

Greatest CREC Accomplishments

Editor's note: This article is part of the special coverage on the 100th Anniversary of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, found in the October 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. By Tom Nordlie Throughout the Citrus Research and Education Center’s (CREC) 100-year history, the collective efforts of its faculty and staff have supported…

Changes to Citrus Crop Estimate Event

Florida Citrus Mutual announced that its Oct. 12 Citrus Crop Estimate Luncheon will be in a different format than initially planned. The morning clay shoot will not take place, and there has been a change in location for the event. The new location and tentative agenda is as follows: Bert J. Harris Jr. Agricultural Center…

New Happenings at CRDF

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By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation The August board meeting of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) provided several updates that should be shared with the industry and other readers. The CRDF/Bayer CropScience partnership announced on August 16 at Citrus Expo moves CRDF one step closer to having…