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

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

rubio

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

Citrus Block Grant Funding Coming Soon

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Florida Citrus Mutual continue to push for the prompt disbursement of funds associated with Hurricane Irma relief. Mutual is optimistic the Hurricane Irma Block Grant program administered by the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) will begin in earnest next week. Administrators of the Block Grant will hold an internal Florida Citrus … Read More

Lawmakers Sign Off on Money for Citrus Farmers

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

Gov. Rick Scott said the state will “soon” begin accepting applications from citrus farmers whose crops and groves were damaged by Hurricane Irma, after the Joint Legislative Budget Commission accepted $357 million in federal funding for the industry on July 19. “It’s great that the LBC approved this funding today,” Scott tweeted. “We look forward to continuing to work with … Read More

Lawmakers Poised to Approve Citrus Farmer Money

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. The money was part of a $2.36 billion disaster-relief package approved by Congress in February. The state Division of Emergency Management will administer the money, leading to the issue going before the Legislative … Read More

WHIP Signup Officially Open

Tacy Callieshurricane, Industry News Release

hurricanes

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that agricultural producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 now may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operations. Signup begins July 16, 2018, and continues through November 16, 2018. “Hurricanes and wildfires caused billions of dollars in losses to America’s farmers last year. Our objective is to get relief funds … Read More

Grower Discusses Hurricane Relief Funds

Ernie Neffhurricane

Vic Story was one of hundreds of growers who attended Florida Citrus Mutual-sponsored meetings in early July describing how Hurricane Irma relief funding will work. “We got hit pretty hard in places last year, and we didn’t pick as much fruit as we thought we were going to, especially earlies (early-season oranges),” Story says. “And so, we can use some … Read More

Set Up WHIP Appointment Now

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative, Weather

By Mike Sparks We wrapped up the fourth Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) meeting in Fort Pierce yesterday with a large crowd at the Agricultural Research Service facility. All told, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted almost 800 attendees during the week. If you didn’t attend one of the events, we have some … Read More

Growers Hear About Hurricane Recovery Funding

Ernie Neffhurricane

hurricane

Approximately 120 growers attended a Monday night meeting in Lake Alfred to learn about eligibility and application requirements for federal relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Irma hit the Florida citrus industry hard in September 2017. The federal government only recently ironed out details of a citrus relief program for growers totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. The … Read More

USDA Encourages Grower Attendance at WHIP Meetings

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

hurricanes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency will hold several information sessions in Florida about the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). The meetings are the first step in the Hurricane Irma relief package. The USDA is encouraging all growers who wish to participate in WHIP to attend at least one meeting. Below are the dates, times and … Read More

The Road to Recovery

Tacy Callieshurricane

Growers discuss lessons learned from Hurricane Irma, replanting plans, grove rehabilitation, crop insurance and more. By Tacy Callies Florida citrus growers awaiting Hurricane Irma federal aid and insurance payouts are doing their best to keep crops healthy until more money is available. Paul Meador, citrus grower and head of Everglades Harvesting & Hauling in LaBelle, took a big hit from … Read More

Rucks on Citrus Varieties and Industry Recovery

Ernie NeffHLB Management, hurricane, Varieties

HLB

Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery weighs in on the increasing demand for late versus early orange varieties, the impact of Hurricane Irma and HLB. Rucks notes that over the past 30 years, the demand for early-season oranges versus late-season oranges has essentially reversed. In the past, he says, early varieties accounted for about 60 percent of plantings. Now, … Read More

Irma Citrus Relief Package Moving Forward

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) is thankful U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently unveiled additional details about the Florida Citrus Irma Relief Package. The package will total $465 million and will include the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) at $125 million and a block grant program at $340 million. WHIP will be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service … Read More