The Georgia Citrus Association recently provided information for Georgia growers interested in shipping their citrus to Florida.
Florida citrus packers should be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if they send fruit out of Florida. The packer should have already reached out to the Florida Citrus Health Team to let them know they intend to bring fruit from Georgia into Florida to be graded and packed. The packer must be licensed and in a compliance program with FDACS and USDA to treat for various diseases.
INFORM GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Call the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) at 229-386-3464 as soon as possible if you intend to ship fruit to Florida.Provide the GDA with the following information:
- Name of the packer(s) you are intending to ship fruit to along with the street address of the packing facility and GPS coordinates and a phone number and contact person of authority at the company
- Address (physical and GPS) of the groves you intend to ship fruit out of to Florida as well as the mailing address and contact numbers
MOUs, INSPECTIONS AND CERTIFICATES
For each grower and packer arrangement, there must be a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the grower and packer signed by the division directors of each state’s plant protection division.
Once GDA gets the MOUs back from FDACS, GDA will issue you a compliance agreement for each of the packers you have a MOU with. When you have returned your signed compliance agreement to the Tifton GDA office, a plant protection inspector will contact you to set a time to inspect your grove(s) for HLB, sweet orange scab, citrus black spot and citrus canker. Inspections must take place within 30 days of harvest and are valid for 60 days.
Other steps Georgia growers should follow include the following:
- Certificates need to go to Florida once picking has started.
- Call the GDA Tifton office at 229-386-3464.
- Tell Mrs. Beasley who you are and what packer you’re going to.
- Mrs. Beasley will then ask you what type of citrus and the number of packages as well as the tag number of the truck and trailer you are transporting the fruit on.
- Mrs. Beasley will then prepare a certificate with a unique number for each load.
- Each certificate is good for one load only.
- Each load must be tarped with unpatched or unrepaired tarps.
Source: Georgia Citrus Association
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