Proposal to Increase Florida Fresh Citrus Assessment

Daniel CooperFlorida, Fresh, Regulation


The federal marketing order assessment rate for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos would increase under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The proposed rule would increase the assessment rate for the 2023–24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent for Florida citrus handled under the marketing order. The proposed rate would remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended or terminated. The rule was recommended by the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC), which manages the marketing order.


Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule. Comments must be received by March 4, 2024. Comments can be sent to the Docket Clerk, Market Development Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237. See the full Federal Register document about the proposed rule, which includes a tab to submit a formal comment.


The CAC met on Aug. 8, 2023, and recommended 2023–24 fiscal period expenditures of $124,624 and the new assessment rate of $0.02. The major budgeted expenditures include $99,624 for management, $10,000 for auditing and $5,000 for data from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Fruits and Vegetables.

The CAC projects handler receipts of approximately 6.7 million 4/5-bushel cartons of citrus or equivalent for the 2023–24 fiscal year. That’s about 4.7 million cartons more than was handled for the 2022–23 fiscal year.

By increasing the rate to $0.02, assessment income would generate $134,000 (6.7 million cartons multiplied by $0.02 assessment rate) for the 2023–24 fiscal year. This amount would be appropriate to ensure that the CAC has sufficient revenue to fully fund its recommended budgeted expenditures.

A review of historical information and preliminary information pertaining to the upcoming fiscal period indicates the average grower price for the 2023–24 season should be approximately $11 per 4/5-bushel carton of citrus or equivalent. Therefore, the estimated assessment revenue for the 2023–24 crop year as a percentage of total grower revenue would be about 0.18% ($0.02 divided by $11 multiplied by 100).

Source: Federal Register

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