Florida Budget Includes $47 Million for Citrus

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Florida, Legislative

Photo by John Guccione

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently reported that the Florida Legislature’s fiscal year 2024–25 budget includes $47 million to aid the state’s citrus industry. The funding for various programs is:

  • $18 million for the Citrus Research and Field Trial Program and the Citrus Research and Development Foundation to research citrus treatments and therapies
  • $9 million for Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) marketing to promote the state’s citrus products among consumers and influencers
  • $8.3 million for the Citrus Health Response Program, administered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), to help researchers develop new varieties, increase citrus production and advance technologies to treat and prevent citrus greening
  • $4 million for the Citrus Inspection Trust Fund to supplement grower assessments for citrus inspection
  • $2.7 million for pest management through FDACS in collaboration with the FDOC to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid that causes citrus greening
  • $2 million for the Citrus Recovery Program, administered by the FDOC, to advance technologies that produce tolerance or resistance to citrus greening and produce trees that show tolerance or resistance to citrus greening
  • $2 million for the citrus budwood facility through FDACS to expand the propagation of citrus greening-tolerant or resistant Citrus sinensis or Citrus sinensis-like budwood trees and seedlings, and for operations and maintenance of the greenhouse
  • $1 million for the Citrus Nursery Automation Cost Share, which provides 80% cost-share funding to citrus tree nurseries for purchase of new equipment that will reduce the cost of trees to growers

Additionally, the Florida Legislature’s budget includes a $100 million annual appropriation for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which aims to protect working agricultural operations from development by establishing conservation easements. The state can protect these critical lands by partnering with farmers, ranchers and growers.

“The Florida Legislature’s investments today in research and innovation will support the restoration of Florida’s signature crop to its former glory,” said FCM Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Matt Joyner. “We are grateful to Senate President-Designate Ben Albritton, a citrus grower himself, for championing $47 million to support the industry. With Governor DeSantis’ approval of this budget, growers and researchers can script the story of a bright future for Florida citrus.”

Source: FCM

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