Florida Senators Fight for Disaster Dollars

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Legislative


Hurricane Irma devastated the Florida Citrus Belt in 2017. Federal disaster relief funding was approved in early 2018, but many Florida citrus growers have yet to receive those funds. Several industry leaders and groups have been advocating for growers in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. Now, Florida senators are joining the fight. Senator Ben Albritton, chairman of the Florida Senate Agriculture … Read More

Looking Beyond 79 Million Boxes of Oranges

Abbey TaylorCitrus, Crop Forecast

orange juice

Overall, the Florida citrus industry was delighted to hear the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s forecast of 79 million boxes of oranges for the state. After battling citrus greening for over a decade and then devastation from Hurricane Irma in 2017, 79 million boxes gave the industry a glimmer of hope. One industry member, Allen Morris, owner of Morris Agribusiness Services, … Read More

Political Event Falls Short on Facts

Abbey TaylorLegislative

A recent southeast Florida algae rally drew a small crowd. By Gary Cooper U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (R-Palm City) hosted a campaign event in Stuart on Sunday and visited other South Florida areas in recent days. He partnered with anti-farming group Bullsugar.org and featured activist Erin Brockovich to help push his recently introduced Stop Harmful Discharges Act in Congress. The … Read More

Revamping Communication with Citrus Growers

Abbey TaylorCitrus, Citrus Greening

Florida citrus growers now have a one-stop shop for everything citrus research coming out of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). A new website, monthly enewsletter and monthly podcast were announced by UF/IFAS last month during Citrus Expo. Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources with UF, says this “All In for … Read More

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company Purchases New Facility

Abbey TaylorCitrus

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company recently announced the purchase of a new facility. The Fort Pierce, Florida-native company is expanding, but is not traveling too far from home. Actually, it is not traveling away from home at all. The juice company announced the beginnings of a new 55,000 square-foot building on 11 acres. The building will be located in Fort … Read More

Citrus Expo Presentations Now Available

Abbey TaylorCitrus Expo

The 27th annual Citrus Expo saw great success as growers piled into the Lee Civic Center on Aug. 15–16 in North Fort Myers, Florida. Growers experienced the biggest trade show in Citrus Expo history, as well as extended citrus seminar sessions. The educational program, titled “Planting Tomorrow’s Profits,” featured presentations on the latest research from the University of Florida Institute … Read More

Ted Yoho: Citrus Greening Research Funding Is Imperative

Abbey TaylorCitrus, Citrus Greening, Farm Bill


The House and the Senate have passed their versions of the farm bill. Now it is time for appointed legislators to hammer out the details for the final version of the bill. Ted Yoho, U.S. Congressman and member of the House Committee on Agriculture, believes that including funding for citrus greening is vital for the Florida citrus industry. Yoho recently … Read More

Set Up WHIP Appointment Now

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative, Weather

By Mike Sparks We wrapped up the fourth Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) meeting in Fort Pierce yesterday with a large crowd at the Agricultural Research Service facility. All told, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted almost 800 attendees during the week. If you didn’t attend one of the events, we have some … Read More

Jack Payne on New SWFREC Director

Abbey TaylorResearch

By Jack Payne, jackpayne@ufl.edu, @JackPayneIFAS Kelly Morgan is a more reliable water source than rain is. You don’t know when or if you’ll get water from the sky, but what Morgan can teach you makes every drop you have go farther. His focus on the farmer as customer is what has made him so successful as the state’s best management … Read More

USDA Encourages Grower Attendance at WHIP Meetings

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Industry News Release, Weather


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency will hold several information sessions in Florida about the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). The meetings are the first step in the Hurricane Irma relief package. The USDA is encouraging all growers who wish to participate in WHIP to attend at least one meeting. Below are the dates, times and … Read More

Be Counted: Turn in Your Ag Census

Abbey TaylorProduction

Florida producers are encouraged to turn in their Census of Agriculture when they receive it in the mail. Because Florida is so agriculturally diverse, it is crucial for producers to participate so the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) can account for each crop grown. The national return rate is currently lower than it was at this point in the 2012 … Read More

The Possibility of Tea Production as a Citrus Alternative

Abbey TaylorAlternative Crops

By Breanna Kendrick Fourth-generation citrus grower James Orrock is a plant pathology graduate student at the University of Florida who is studying tea as a possible alternative crop to be grown on former citrus land. “The citrus industry is having to go through some changes, so one of the key aspects of Florida agriculture right now is diversification,” said Orrock. … Read More

Crafting Details of the Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Block Grant

Abbey Taylorhurricane


Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $340 million block grant that will go toward Florida citrus growers for Hurricane Irma losses to production expected during the 2018 through 2020 crop years. It includes reimbursement for the cost of buying and planting replacement trees – including resetting and grove rehabilitation – and for repair of damages to … Read More

Exclusive: Perdue Discusses Hurricane Aid for Growers

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released details about the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), which includes financial aid to growers impacted by Hurricane Irma and other natural disasters. The information covered everything from eligibility to the formula that will be used to calculate payments. AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor had the opportunity to get some exclusive … Read More

Perdue Announces Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Details

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


(Washington, D.C., May 1, 2018) – Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Additionally, USDA will provide $340 million through a block grant to the state of Florida for Hurricane … Read More

Visiting Southern Gardens Citrus

Abbey TaylorCitrus

Last week, members of the AgNet Media team had the opportunity to visit the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) to meet with some of the area’s key players. During the three-day tour, the team explored various agricultural operations, including Southern Gardens Citrus. The Southern Gardens Citrus visit began with a tour of Devil’s Garden Grove, led by grove manager Luke Davis. … Read More

Conaway Introduces the Agriculture and Nutrition Act

Abbey TaylorFarm Bill, Industry News Release, Legislative

Three years, 114 hearings, six listening sessions and countless industry meetings have laid the groundwork for the 2018 farm bill. The House Agriculture Committee delivered what it calls a strong farm bill for producers, consumers and all of rural America. After introducing the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) during a teleconference, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway … Read More

Steep Florida Grapefruit Production Declines

Abbey TaylorGrapefruit

Most growers and professionals in the citrus industry are aware that Florida’s orange crop has declined due to diseases like citrus greening and natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. However, Florida’s grapefruit crop has been suffering tremendously as well, even more severely than Florida oranges. The Florida orange crop has dropped by 35 percent this year, while Florida grapefruit has dropped … Read More

Georgia Department of Ag Assisting Citrus Growers with Marketing

Abbey TaylorCitrus

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is working to promote the ever-growing Georgia citrus industry. Matthew Kulinski, deputy director of marketing for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, led a presentation at the Georgia Citrus Association Conference to inform growers that the department’s marketing division can help them. As the Georgia citrus industry expands, it is important for growers to know how … Read More

Beck Brothers Win 4R Advocate Award

Abbey TaylorNutrition

Beck Brothers Citrus of Winter Garden, Florida, is one of five winners of the Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Advocate Award for 2018. The company is the third winner from Florida and the first citrus grower to receive this national award. Beck Brothers was recognized for implementing 4R fertilizer management practices on the farm to increase production and reduce environmental impact. 4R … Read More