FDACS Cost-Share Program for Food Safety

Ernie Neff financial, Food Safety

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is offering a cost-share program for producers of specialty crops who obtain food-safety certification. Producers who obtained food-safety certification for specialty crop products (fruits, vegetables or tree nuts) through several programs could be eligible for reimbursement of 75% of certification costs, up to $1,500 per producer. Programs include the U.S. Department …

FDACS Launches COVID-19 Webpage

Ernie Neff COVID-19

There’s now a one-stop webpage for Florida growers to keep up with COVID-19 food and agriculture-related information. The Keep Florida Growing webpage was launched April 13 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). “With COVID-19 deeply affecting not only Floridians but also agriculture, our state’s second-largest economic driver, we’re launching a new one-stop page to support consumers …

COVID-19 Guidance From FDACS

Ernie Neff COVID-19

In response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried explained why agriculture can continue working. “Florida’s farmers and ranchers put food on the tables of our neighbors across the state and nation,” Fried stated in a media release issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). …

pesticide

UF/IFAS and FDACS Working to Bring Pesticide Licensing Online

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Industry News Release, Pesticides

(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are working to identify ways to provide online testing for certified pesticide applicators while in-person testing is unavailable due to COVID-19. All in-person UF/IFAS Extension programs and activities, including pesticide testing, have been postponed or cancelled through …

FDACS Begins Efforts to Eradicate Oriental Fruit Fly

Daniel Cooper Food Safety, fruit, Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of three Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in south Miami-Dade County. The initial fly was discovered during routine trapping, and additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. The department, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, monitors more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an …

FDACS Promotes the Abandoned Grove Initiative

Abbey Taylor Pests

Research shows that abandoned citrus groves can harbor unwanted pests and citrus diseases. Therefore, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control is raising more awareness about its Abandoned Grove Initiative to help destroy those safe havens for deadly pests. Callie Walker, chief of the FDACS Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control, says …

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

Kelsey Fry Legislative, Water

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County soil and water conservation districts. …

bmp

Citrus BMP Manual Being Revised

Daniel Cooper BMPs

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson has tasked his staff with reviewing and revising all of the best management practices (BMP) manuals that impact Florida agricultural operations in 2024. Revision work on the citrus BMP manual was undertaken by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy in 2020. However, that work was never …

awards

Nominations Open for Two Florida Ag Awards

Daniel Cooper Awards

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is accepting nominations through March 1 for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award and the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards. The Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award annually recognizes the achievements of women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. The Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are presented annually, spotlighting environmentally …

taxation

Efforts to Eliminate Multiple Ag Taxation in Florida

Daniel Cooper Agriculture, Florida, Legislative

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson joined two state legislators Jan. 8 in announcing legislation to eliminate multiple taxation of agricultural production by annual local property taxes. Simpson, Sen. Jay Collins and Rep. Danny Alvarez announced the filing of a joint resolution, HJR 1251 and SJR 1560. The proposed constitutional amendment creates a total tax exemption of tangible personal property …

Florida Growers Can Apply for TEAM Card

Tacy Callies Agriculture, financial, Florida

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson recently announced that farmers can apply for the Florida Farm Tax Exempt Agricultural Materials (TEAM) Card beginning Jan. 1, 2024. The card can be used for sales-tax-exempt purchases of agricultural materials. The Florida Department of Revenue will accept online and mailed applications. The plastic wallet-sized Florida Farm TEAM Card is a physical alternative to …

BMPs Discussed at Gulf Citrus Growers Luncheon

Josh McGill BMPs, Gulf, Water

The Gulf Citrus Growers Association hosted a member luncheon last week at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee. Speakers at the event focused on water and nutrient management. West Gregory, director of the Office of Agricultural Water Policy with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), spoke during the event. He outlined his priorities for …

Growers May Comment on Farm Bill at Listening Session

Josh McGill Legislative

UPDATE: Both the Oct. 9 and Oct. 13 listening sessions have been postponed. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson will host a farm bill listening session with U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack in attendance on Oct. 13. The session will allow Florida’s growers and ranchers to voice recommendations for the 2023 U.S. farm bill and related agricultural issues. The farm bill …

Sneak Peek: September 2023 Citrus Industry

Josh McGill Citrus Expo, nursery, Sneak Peek

The Florida citrus industry has seen more than its fair share of challenges and changes in recent years. But through it all, Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery has been a constant positive presence. This is due to strong leadership from Nate and Anna Jameson and their ability to adapt to changing times. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently …

requirements

Shipping Georgia Citrus to Florida

Josh McGill Georgia, Regulation, Shipping

The Georgia Citrus Association recently provided information for Georgia growers interested in shipping their citrus to Florida.  CHECK REGISTRATIONFlorida 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 …

Growers Learn About Cost-Share Opportunities

Josh McGill Events, financial

The Mid-Florida Research and Education Center in Apopka hosted the first annual Growing Together: Central Florida Partners for Agriculture Symposium on July 27. The event was for both beginning and experienced growers and explored various tax, regulatory and insurance issues farm businesses must deal with. Several presentations focused on irrigation and nutrient management and how growers can obtain cost-share funds …

State Legislature Supports Florida Citrus

Josh McGill Florida, Legislative

Landon Hoffman, director of government affairs for Florida Citrus Mutual, recently provided a recap of Florida legislative actions impacting the citrus industry: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state budget, which goes into effect on July 1. This year’s budget included more than $65 million to support Florida citrus, the highlight being more than $30 million for the CRAFT (Citrus …

Deadline Set for Florida Land Protection Program

Josh McGill Land

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced that landowners can apply online to the state’s Rural and Family Lands Protection Program (RFLPP) until 5 p.m. on July 27. The department will review the applications for eligibility. The program, which partners with farmers and ranchers through conservation easements, aims to safeguard working agricultural operations. “Florida’s agricultural lands are …

Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery Awarded

Josh McGill Awards, nurseries

The 2023 winners of Florida’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award are Brite Leaf Citrus Nursery, Rocking K Cattle and Island Grove Wine Company. The winners were announced May 30 by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson. Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards have been presented annually since 1994 and spotlight environmentally innovative growers and ranchers who share a commitment to protecting and preserving Florida’s resources …

Nominate a Worthy Woman in Florida Agriculture

Josh McGill Awards

Nominations for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) in conjunction with the Florida State Fair Authority, are now being accepted. All nominations must be submitted by Aug. 1. The award annually recognizes the achievements of women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. “The Woman of …