Federal Money Flowing to Citrus Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

federal

Florida has reached the halfway point in dispensing a $343 million federal grant it received for citrus growers who sustained damage in Hurricane Irma two years ago, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. “I think that that’s been much-needed relief,” DeSantis said of the $173 million that has been distributed, mostly since he took office in January. “We’re going to continue … Read More

Citrus Industry Dodges Hurricane Dorian

Ernie Neffhurricane

dorian

“This was a big miracle,” Indian River Citrus League Executive Vice President Doug Bournique said late Wednesday morning after Hurricane Dorian had passed Florida’s Citrus Belt. He said while assessments were still being made, there apparently was only minimal leaf and fruit loss in the Indian River region. The Indian River area was the closest Florida citrus-growing region to Dorian, … Read More

Indian River Expects Minor Hurricane Damage

Ernie Neffhurricane

hurricane

Florida’s Indian River area lies on the Atlantic Ocean and was the nearest Florida citrus region to Hurricane Dorian late Tuesday morning. Doug Bournique, Indian River Citrus League executive vice president, was optimistic that the region would escape major damage. “It looks like it’s going to track about 80 to 100 miles off the coastline, which is wonderful for our … Read More

Hurricane Preparedness for Citrus Groves

Daniel Cooperhurricane

By Mongi Zekri, Robert E. Rouse, and Jonathan H. Crane Each year, growers look forward to the rainy season because it helps their young trees grow fast and their mature trees produce good crops. Growers hope for good distribution of rains following the usual dry spring season. However, along with the anticipation of the rainy season, there is also the … Read More

Millions in Agricultural Crops at Risk as Dorian Approaches Florida

Daniel CooperCitrus, Grapefruit, hurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

dorian

GIf Hurricane Dorian makes landfall mid-way up Florida’s Atlantic Coast – as many models predicted Thursday afternoon – the storm could devastate not only Central Florida tourist destinations, but also the region’s agricultural areas, which include significant acreage devoted to citrus, vegetable, ornamental plant and cattle production. Economists and Extension faculty with the University of Florida Institute of Food and … Read More

Growers Should Have a Hurricane Plan

Ernie Neffhurricane

The 2019 hurricane season is well underway. Florida’s citrus industry hasn’t been threatened yet, but several months of the season remain. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Chris Oswalt suggests that growers be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane. “Have a plan; work that plan,” he says. Oswalt offers several ways growers can be prepared for a severe storm. “If you … Read More

Governor DeSantis Announces Approval of More Than $77 Million to Citrus Growers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

governor

Bonita Springs, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $77 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to … Read More

Florida Senators Fight for Disaster Dollars

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Legislative

scott

Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Citrus Belt in 2017. Federal disaster relief funding was approved in early 2018, but many Florida citrus growers have yet to receive those funds. Several industry leaders and groups have been advocating for growers in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Now, Florida senators are joining the fight. Senator Ben Albritton, chairman of the Florida Senate Agriculture … Read More

Hurricane Irma: Relief Update and Frustration

Ernie Neffhurricane

Representatives of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) updated the Florida Citrus Commission Wednesday on Hurricane Irma reimbursements from the Citrus Recovery Block Grant. They heard from some commissioners concerned that growers have been waiting a long time for relief funds for the storm that hit Florida hard in September 2017. Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt told the representatives there … Read More

Peace River Growers Discuss Current Issues

Ernie Neffhurricane

Fruit size, Hurricane Irma relief funds and replanting were among issues addressed at a recent grower roundtable meeting in Arcadia. Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association Executive Director Kait Shaw summarized some of the discussion. Regarding fruit size, she said, “Hamlins in particular are very small this year, but even the Valencias. I just don’t think the fruit is as … Read More

Nutrients, Hurricane Impact and Production

Ernie Neffhurricane

labor

Grower and tree hedger Frank Youngman was among the attendees at a Feb. 28 grower forum in Sebring, Florida. He discussed nutrition, Hurricane Irma’s impact, tree condition and production. Youngman said nutrients are “the key factor in what we’re seeing as far as tree quality, also fruit quality, and the ability for the trees to maintain the fruit throughout the … Read More

Citrus Recovery Money Starts to Flow

Daniel Cooperfinancial, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

Florida is starting to distribute federal disaster-relief money that was approved last year to help the citrus industry after Hurricane Irma caused massive damage to groves. Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Wednesday that the state recently awarded $14 million from a $343 million federal block grant for the industry and continues to process and … Read More

Hurricane Relief Update from Sparks

Ernie Neffhurricane

Florida citrus growers have long expressed frustration with the delay in getting government aid for damages they suffered from Hurricane Irma in the fall of 2017. “We are at Florida Citrus Mutual certainly as frustrated as the Florida citrus growers,” Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said this week. “And, yes, we hear often from individuals” who are frustrated by the time … Read More

Block Grant Administrator to Visit Florida Citrus Industry

Tacy Calliesfinancial, hurricane

florida citrus

According to Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president/CEO, Block Grant Administrator Elias Mathes will be in the Florida citrus industry next week and available to discuss the status and/or payment of growers’ block grant claims. Locations and time frames are as follows: Jan. 23, Bartow, Citrus Mutual Offices, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 24, Sebring, Highlands … Read More

Rubio Calls on DeSantis to Disburse Citrus Aid

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio implored Florida’s new governor Tuesday to start spreading disaster-relief money approved nearly a year ago to address massive citrus-industry damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Rubio said in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis that money in a $343 million block grant needs to be disbursed to citrus growers. Rubio said the federal government shutdown has … Read More

Deadline Approaching to Apply for Hurricane Irma Aid

Tacy Callieshurricane

crop forecast

Citrus growers affected by Hurricane Irma are reminded that signup for assistance through the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) ends Nov. 16, 2018. Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands Country Citrus Growers Association, says it is imperative for growers to make formal arrangements to secure an application appointment for WHIP and the State Block Grant Program prior to … Read More

Update on Hurricane Irma Financial Assistance

Tacy Calliesfinancial, hurricane

scott

By Mike Sparks It’s been a challenging year since Hurricane Irma struck. We understand the frustration with the lag in getting hurricane relief to growers and realize the urgency of the situation. With that said, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) applications and payments for … Read More

Application Now Open for Florida Citrus Tree Recovery Program

Tacy Callieshurricane

citrus growers

As of Sept. 18, citrus producers can apply for the Florida Citrus Tree Recovery Program (Block Grant) through the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) contractors co-located with Farm Service Agency staff at U.S. Department of Agriculture service centers in Bartow, Kissimmee, Wauchula, Okeechobee, Moore Haven, Fort Myers and Fort Pierce. Click here for contact information. A requirement of the Block … Read More

Citrus Block Grant Application Workshops Scheduled for Growers

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) announced the successful receipt of $343,221,216.73 in federal Florida Citrus Tree Recovery Program funds to help Florida citrus farmers recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma. Four workshops will be held to assist growers in applying for the funds. This outcome was accomplished through a partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture … Read More

Florida Citrus Recovery Grant Program for Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane

florida

The Florida Citrus Recovery Grant Program (CRGP) is available to citrus producers who maintain an active citrus farming operation and who suffered citrus crop damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. In order to qualify for CRGP, producers must first apply for the Federal 2017 USDA Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). Producers receiving assistance under either CRGP or WHIP must obtain … Read More