Sales Tax Rebate for Growers Who Suffered Hurricane Damage

salex tax

The Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott have approved a sales tax rebate program for agricultural producers and growers who suffered damages due to Hurricane Irma. Florida Farm Bureau has offered a dedicated webpage as a resource to farmers and ranchers who can take advantage of this opportunity at www.FloridaFarmBureau.org/hurricanetaxrebate. On March 23, Governor Rick…

Rubio Offers Hope for Farmers Hit by Irma

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Federal disaster relief for farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma may be available “as early as next week,” according to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Monday’s update from Rubio’s office came after the Miami Republican spoke with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who had a similar conversation with Gov. Rick Scott Friday. Florida citrus farmers have expressed…

Sen. Nelson Calls on Federal Agencies to Distribute Disaster Aid

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) took to the Senate floor late Monday afternoon to urge the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture to immediately release the disaster funding approved by Congress in February to help Floridians who are still recovering from Hurricane Irma. “It has been almost six months since Hurricane Irma struck…

Help for Florida Farmers Advancing in Senate

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Farmers and other parts of Florida’s agriculture industry could receive about $75 million in post-Hurricane Irma assistance from the state next year under a measure moving forward in the Senate. The Senate Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday unanimously backed the proposal (SB 1608) by Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring. The proposal, in…

House Eyes Tax Help for Agriculture Industry

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Florida’s Hurricane Irma-battered agriculture industry, growing anxious as it awaits federal disaster relief, could land some help from the state House as part of a tax-cut package. The House Ways & Means Committee, which is putting together a package, reviewed three measures Wednesday intended to help the industry, which sustained an estimated $2.5 billion in…

Disaster Relief Package Would Help Citrus Industry

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Florida's storm-battered citrus growers are closer to landing federal relief sought since Hurricane Irma devastated large parts of the state's agriculture industry in September. The U.S. House on Wednesday will consider providing $2.6 billion for lost farm crops as part of an $81 billion disaster-relief package, which has been attached to the latest short-term “continuing…

Tax Bill Includes Help for Citrus Replanting

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A proposal aimed at helping citrus growers replant after Hurricane Irma is included in a federal tax overhaul that could be approved this week by Congress, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., said Monday. The proposal, sponsored by Buchanan and backed by Florida's congressional delegation, would provide tax incentives for farmers who cannot afford to replace…

Gov. Scott Discusses Citrus Storm Relief

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Gov. Rick Scott spent part of Friday on the phone talking about federal disaster relief amid continuing worries about the storm-ravaged citrus industry. Scott tweeted that his calls with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan included talk of hurricane relief. “I spoke with @GovAbbott this morning about the ongoing recovery in…

Citrus Industry Squeezed if Congress Doesn’t Help

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No “plan B” is available if Congress does not add citrus funding to the latest disaster relief package, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday. A day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture further reduced a forecast of the post-Hurricane Irma orange harvest, Putnam reiterated the need for federal assistance to the struggling industry, which…

Putnam, Ross Say Relief Proposal Leaves Out Citrus

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Dennis Ross on Friday criticized a lack of funding for the state's storm-ravaged citrus industry in the latest disaster-relief package proposed by the White House. Putnam said a $44 billion request sent to Congress by the White House Office of Management and Budget “puts government reimbursement in front of real taxpayers…

Irma Agriculture Losses Continue to Mount

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Florida's $2.5 billion request for federal disaster relief for its agriculture industry after Hurricane Irma might not be enough. Members of the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness said on Nov. 16 that month-old damage estimates made by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are too low. “I actually think your…

Florida Orange Crop Continues Downward Spiral

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Florida's struggling and storm-battered citrus industry took another hit Thursday as the orange crop forecast for the current growing season was reduced by 7.4 percent. And industry officials anticipate the forecasts will continue to decline as the season progresses. “Unfortunately, I don't think this will be the last decrease we see,” said Shannon Shepp, executive…

FDOC Needs Grower Responses to Citrus Damage Survey

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Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Economic Market Research Development (EMRD) is working with the University of Florida Economic Impact Analysis program to assess the economic impacts of Hurricane Irma on the infrastructure of the citrus industry. University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have…

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…

Putnam Questions Citrus Estimate After Irma

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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.…

Citrus Growers Preparing for Hurricane Irma

hurricane irma

Unfortunately, Florida citrus growers are having to prepare for Hurricane Irma, which at this point looks like it will impact the Sunshine State. Mongi Zekri, the multi-county citrus agent in the Hendry County Extension office in LaBelle, says this is especially troubling with harvest just around the corner. Hear more: Read a recent Citrus Industry…