Florida Citrus Commission Cuts FDOC Budget and Staff

Ernie NeffFlorida Citrus Commission


Shannon Shepp

The Florida Citrus Commission completed several months of heavy budget-cutting on June 14 by approving a preliminary 2016-17 budget for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). Several large growers had requested heavy cuts earlier this year, and the Citrus Commission responded.

The department’s budget will drop almost 32 percent from the current season, and the staff will be reduced by 43 percent. Department of Citrus Executive Director Shannon Shepp summarizes the budget and staff cuts. The budget is based on projected crops next season of 58.1 million boxes of oranges, 8.765 million boxes of grapefruit and a million boxes of specialty fruit – all substantially lower than the past season’s crop levels.

Per-box assessments on fruit won’t be set until the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s crop forecast is made in October. However, projected per-box rates are 10 cents for processed oranges – a 57 percent reduction from last season – and 10 cents for grapefruit – a 47 percent reduction. Projected assessments are unchanged for fresh orange at 5 cents and for specialty fruit at 7 cents. The budget is based on revenues from the grower assessments, an allocation from the state legislature and a federal grant for international marketing efforts.

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About the Author

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large