budget

Florida Budget Includes $47 Million for Citrus

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Florida, Legislative

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: 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. …

alico

Alico Reports Results for Early and Mid-Season Oranges

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Production

Alico, Inc.’s Citrus Division reported it had “significantly lower than anticipated” early and mid-season orange production for the fiscal quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2023. It blamed the reduction on the ongoing effects of 2022’s Hurricane Ian. Although the early and mid-season crops were lower than anticipated, Alico still harvested more boxes, produced more pound solids and received higher prices …

wage freeze

Legislators Seek H-2A Wage Freeze

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Labor, Legislative

Seventy-five U.S. House of Representatives members have asked House and Senate appropriations leaders for an H-2A visa guestworker wage freeze in an upcoming spending package. The text of the representatives’ letter to appropriations leaders follows: “We write with shared concerns regarding the annual adjustment to the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR). Now in 2024, the H-2A labor rates paid by …

Florida Growers Can Apply for TEAM Card

Tacy CalliesAgriculture, 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 …

program

Ag Groups Want Changes to Emergency Relief Program

Daniel Cooperfinancial, hurricane, Legislative

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) was among more than 140 U.S. agriculture organizations that recently urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revise the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for 2022. In 2022, President Biden signed into law appropriations legislation providing $3.74 billion in ERP assistance to agricultural producers impacted by numerous natural disasters in 2022. FFVA and …

disaster relief

Georgia Counties Eligible for Disaster Relief

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Georgia, hurricane

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated numerous Georgia counties as eligible for disaster relief for a variety of reasons. DROUGHT USDA designated 20 Georgia counties as primary natural disaster areas due to recent drought conditions. This allows the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters. Producers in primary and contiguous counties have …

alico

Alico Citrus Production Declines 51%

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Industry News Release

Alico Citrus, a division of Alico, Inc., harvested less than half its citrus in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2023 as it did in the prior year. The decline was largely the result of impacts from Hurricane Ian in September 2022. Alico has approximately 49,000 citrus acres in seven Florida counties. The company reported on Dec. 6 that it …

Federal Aid for Producers Impacted by 2022 Natural Disasters

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide more than $3 billion to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2022. Eligible producers can apply for financial assistance through the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) 2022. The program will help offset the financial impacts of crop yield and value losses from qualifying disasters occurring in 2022. “In our continued …

Efforts Continue to Obtain Federal Funding for Hurricane Relief

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) reported that Congress was expected to receive a supplemental funding request from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in early August. “We worked with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to craft a letter urging (OMB) Director Shalanda Young to include relief for Florida’s farmers in their (OMB) request,” FCM Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer …

Hurricane Ian Assistance Deadline Extended

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the deadline for applications from agricultural producers for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from Hurricane Ian in Florida. The application deadline has been extended to Sept. 25, 2023. The 28 approved counties for ECP signup are Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian …

Alico Citrus Production Halved

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

Florida citrus grower and landholder Alico, Inc. on Aug. 3 announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023 and the nine months ended June 30, 2023. For the nine months, Alico harvested approximately 2.7 million boxes of citrus, a decrease of approximately 51% from the same period in the prior fiscal year. After the completion of the …

Growers Learn About Cost-Share Opportunities

Josh McGillEvents, 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 …

Assistance for 2022 Natural Disasters Announced

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced two programs that collectively provide $3.7 billion in assistance to crop and livestock producers who sustained losses due to natural disasters like Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022. They are the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) and Emergency Livestock Relief Program. To participate in the programs, producers should have or be prepared to have the …

Aid for Growers Transitioning to Organic Production

Tacy Calliesfinancial, Organic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced details of a $75 million investment in conservation assistance for growers transitioning to organic production. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will dedicate financial and technical assistance to a new organic management standard and partner with new organic technical experts to increase staff capacity and expertise. The effort is part of the multi-agency …

Assistance for Citrus in Wake of Hurricane Ian

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently visited a citrus grove in Polk County, Florida, to survey the impact of Hurricane Ian and meet affected growers. He highlighted efforts by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help Florida producers recover from the devastating impact of hurricanes. USDA is working through nearly 2,500 requests for assistance following Hurricane Ian. It has aided …

Alico Shares Quarterly Update

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane, Industry News Release

Alico Citrus harvested 841,000 boxes of early- and mid-season (early/mid) oranges for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2022. That’s a decrease of approximately 6.1% from the same period in the prior fiscal year. The company will complete harvesting of early/mid oranges in the current fiscal year. It said it will recognize an overall decrease in the number of early/mid …

Farm Service Agency Offers Freeze Assistance

Josh McGillfinancial, freeze, Georgia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Georgia is reminding farmers and landowners of the assistance it offers in the wake of a freeze. The state’s citrus industry suffered damage during the five-night freeze that occurred in late December. The FSA programs are the Tree Assistance Program (TAP) and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). …

Fallen Fruit Leads to $23 Million Loss for Alico

Josh McGillfinancial, hurricane

Hurricane Ian in late September caused substantial fruit drop at the majority of Alico Citrus’ groves, the company reported in its recent fiscal year 2022 financial results. The fiscal year ended Sept. 30. “Fortunately, tree damage was largely limited to only one property,” said John Kiernan, president and chief executive officer. “This lost fruit impacted our fiscal year 2022 financial …

Disaster Assistance Programs Available

Josh McGillfinancial, Florida, hurricane

Four federal disaster assistance programs and one Florida program are among those available to growers to assist in recovery after Hurricane Ian. The first four programs listed below are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). To apply for these programs, contact a local FSA office, or the Florida FSA office at 352-379-4500. EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAMThe …