More Disaster and Pandemic Aid From USDA

Jim Rogers COVID-19, hurricane

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Nov. 15 announced plans for additional emergency relief and pandemic assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is preparing to roll out the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase Two as well as the new Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program (PARP). The two programs help offset crop and revenue losses for growers. USDA is sharing early …

USDA Invites Bids to Sell Fresh Oranges

Jim Rogers Fresh

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently invited offers to sell significant quantities of fresh oranges for use in the National School Lunch Program and other federal food and nutrition assistance programs. Deliveries of various sizes to several states are to be made at different dates between Jan. 2, 2023, and March 29, 2023. The contract specialist handling this purchase …

USDA to Enforce Imported Grapefruit Standards

Jim Rogers Grapefruit, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will enforce the juice content maturity requirements on imported grapefruit. USDA will also collect the necessary data to issue a new and lasting marketing order regarding the imported grapefruit. Last fall, the USDA suspended Section 8e grapefruit juice content standards for imported grapefruit without warning. As a result, low-quality grapefruit products from …

USDA Disaster Declaration for Florida Growers Impacted by Freeze

Tacy Callies freeze, Industry News Release

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) disaster designation for 17 counties and 10 contiguous counties impacted by the freezing temperatures that occurred in late January. View the USDA’s approval letter here. “With the approval of our request for a disaster declaration, farmers in Florida have resources available …

USDA Seeks Advisory Board Members

Jim Rogers Agriculture, Citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting continuous nominations for membership to its National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board and its committees. The NAREEE board is comprised of 15 members representing a specific category of U.S. agricultural stakeholders. The board’s three committees include the Specialty Crop Committee, Citrus Disease Subcommittee and National Genetic Resources Advisory …

USDA Conducting Voluntary Yet Vital Study

Ernie Neff Survey

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2021 Farm Producer Study to gain knowledge and understanding of agricultural producers and help USDA improve services to them. A brief questionnaire was mailed to approximately 75,000 U.S. agricultural producers across the country. The questionnaire, which takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, asks participants …

Insurance Improvements for Citrus From USDA

Ernie Neff crop insurance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced improved and expanded insurance options for citrus growers and others. 2022 CHANGES FOR FLORIDANext year, Florida producers will be able to insure several citrus commodities under an Actual Production History Plan that offers advantages over the existing Florida Citrus Fruit Dollar Plan. This product provides individualized coverage based …

USDA Expands Citrus Imports From Australia

Ernie Neff Trade

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expanding the production areas in Australia from which fresh citrus fruit may be shipped to the United States. It is also revising the conditions under which citrus from Australia may be imported. Currently, imports of fresh citrus fruit are allowed into the United States from the Riverina …

USDA Buying More Grapefruit Juice

Ernie Neff Grapefruit

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 5 announced an $18 million purchase of grapefruit juice in response to winter weather in Texas, the Indian River Citrus League (IRCL) reported. The February Texas freeze caused estimated citrus crop losses of at least $230 million and hit before much of the Texas citrus crop had been harvested. “For the past …

USDA to Purchase Citrus Products

Tacy Callies Citrus

Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president/CEO, reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced another round of citrus purchases totaling almost $48 million. The breakdown includes $10 million worth of orange juice, $7.5 million worth of grapefruit juice, $25 million in fresh oranges and $5 million in fresh grapefruit. The USDA purchases will be for distribution to …

florida citrus

USDA Revising Texas Citrus Grades

Ernie Neff Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA/AMS) is revising the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit and the U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges. The revision, effective Nov. 30, applies only to Texas and states other than Florida, California and Arizona. The revision will convert the Acceptable Quality Level (AQL) tables from showing the acceptable number of allowable …

USDA OJ Purchases Set Precedent

Ernie Neff Orange Juice

Marisa Zansler, economist for the Florida Department of Citrus, recently gave the Florida Citrus Commission an update on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 32 purchases of orange juice (OJ). A summary of her report follows. The purpose of USDA Section 32 purchases is to help alleviate depressed markets for domestically produced agriculture products. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service also …

hlb

USDA Grants $45 Million for HLB Research

Ernie Neff Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) recently awarded 12 grants totaling more than $45 million for research to combat HLB. “USDA-NIFA’s Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (ECDRE) brings the nation’s top scientists together to tackle this problem,” said Parag Chitnis, NIFA’s acting director. Following are the 12 ECDRE projects funded by USDA-NIFA …

USDA Finalizes Conservation Rule

Ernie Neff Environment

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released the final rule for its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The rule makes updates to the program as directed by the 2018 farm bill and integrates feedback from agricultural producers and others.  CSP provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to adverse weather. CSP is …

USDA Seeks Input to Increase Production

Ernie Neff Industry News Release, Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public- and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture to further its work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda. The agency is looking for ready-to-go technologies and practices to achieve its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40 percent to meet global population needs …

scott

New Guide to USDA Disaster Programs

Ernie Neff Industry News Release

To better assist agricultural producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a new brochure, Disaster Assistance Programs at a Glance. The brochure is a quick reference guide to available Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) assistance programs. The guide gives a short description of each program and lets growers quickly …

Stefanou to Lead USDA Economic Research Service

Ernie Neff Economics

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) scientist Spiro Stefanou has been appointed as U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS) administrator. Stefanou was a professor in the UF/IFAS food and resource economics department. The mission of USDA/ERS is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment and rural America and to conduct high-quality, …

USDA to Buy Grapefruit Juice

Ernie Neff Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans to purchase grapefruit juice products for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. Purchases will be made to encourage the continued domestic consumption of these products by diverting them from the normal channels of trade and commerce. Solicitations will be issued in the near future, and will be available electronically through …

Survey to Help USDA Improve

Ernie Neff Survey

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) annual survey of farmers, ranchers and private forestland owners will help USDA understand what it is doing well and where improvements are needed. The survey will specifically help the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA). A selection of 28,000 producers will receive the survey over …

Major OJ Purchase Coming Soon From USDA

Ernie Neff Orange Juice

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food purchases to come this summer will include $25 million worth of orange juice (OJ). Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said “the vast majority” of the OJ will come from Florida. “It’s going to be NFC (not from concentrate) and FCOJ (frozen concentrated orange juice),” he said. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced …