Citrus Block Grant Application Workshops Scheduled for Growers

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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

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

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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

Experts Suggest Varieties for Irma-Damaged Citrus Replanting

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As growers decide how to use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma — and as they cope with the ongoing impact of citrus greening — University of Florida researchers are suggesting varieties for them to replant. Producers can grow varieties that show tolerance to greening — also known as huanglongbing, or HLB. … Read More

Nutrient Recommendations for Citrus Greening

citrus greening

As Florida citrus growers look to recover from the damages of Hurricane Irma and continue to cope with citrus greening, University of Florida (UF) scientists suggest using a complete and balanced nutrient program in their groves. “Mineral nutrition plays a vital physiological role in the growth and development of a plant and as well as in plant-defense response,” said Tripti … Read More

Lawmakers Poised to Approve Citrus Farmer Money

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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

Sales Tax Rebate for Growers Who Suffered Hurricane Damage

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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 Scott signed a sales tax … Read More

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 increasing frustration as they await … Read More

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 Florida, and it’s been about … Read More

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 part, would reduce property assessments … Read More

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 damages from the deadly September … Read More

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 resolution” needed to keep the … Read More

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 trees damaged by the storm … Read More

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 FL and TX from Hurricanes … Read More

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 could see damages from the … Read More

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 and completely leaves out the … Read More

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 numbers are conservative,” said Rep. … Read More

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 director of the Florida Department … Read More

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 already assessed preliminary crop loss … Read More