Farm Service Agency Offers Freeze Assistance

Jim Rogers financial, 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

Jim Rogers financial, 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

Jim Rogers financial, 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 …

Preliminary Department of Citrus Budget Approved

Jim Rogers financial, Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Citrus Commission on June 15 approved a preliminary 2022–23 operating budget for the Florida Department of Citrus of $29.9 million. The preliminary budget includes $19.125 million in general revenue funding from the state of Florida for marketing, research and administration. The majority of the budget will fund domestic marketing programs aimed at driving sales of Florida orange juice (OJ). …

Citrus Department Proposes Preliminary 2022–23 Budget

Jim Rogers financial, Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus

The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) in May proposed a preliminary 2022–23 operating budget of $31.4 million to the Florida Citrus Commission, its governing body. The 2021–22 operating budget was $29 million. Global marketing and public relations represent the bulk of the 2022–23 budget at $22.9 million, a 3.5% reduction from the previous season. The proposed orange budget will increase …

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 …

Alico: Increased Citrus Prices Expected to Continue

Tacy Callies financial, Industry News Release

Alico, Inc., one of Florida’s largest citrus producers, announced financial results for the fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31. Some highlights regarding the company’s citrus operation follow. For the quarter, Alico Citrus harvested approximately 0.8 million boxes of fruit, a decrease of 14.6 percent from the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. The decrease was principally related to there being …

orange juice

Alico: Orange Price Down but Outlook Positive

Ernie Neff financial, Industry News Release

The average blended price per pound solid (PPS) for juice oranges grown by Alico, Inc. fell from $2.42 in the prior fiscal year to $1.86 in the current fiscal year. That was largely due to the Florida citrus crop being greater than expected in the 2018-19 harvest season, leading to excess inventory levels at Florida citrus juice processors, the company …

USDA Coronavirus Program to Assist Ag

Ernie Neff COVID-19, financial

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 17 announced a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to help agriculturists and consumers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The $19 billion program is intended to provide support to farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of the food supply chain and ensure every American has access to needed food. The program will use …

Paycheck Protection Program Can Offer Help

Ernie Neff COVID-19, financial

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has advised growers and other agriculture-related businesses they can apply for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program is part of the $2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act. The PPP loans are designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses …


Town Hall Meeting on COVID-19 and Florida Agriculture

Daniel Cooper business, COVID-19, financial, Florida

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Florida Farm Bureau President John L. Hoblick held a town hall meeting on Thursday with the state’s agriculture community on pressing issues. Some of the topics of discussion included: Ensuring agriculture and all related industries are essential at the federal, state and local levels. Promoting the continued and efficient processing of H-2A worker visas. Inter- and intra-state weight waivers for …


Stay Sought in Citrus Tree Appeal

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Citrus Greening, financial, Industry News Release

(NSF) — The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services wants the Florida Supreme Court to put on hold a legal battle about payments to Lee County homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were cut down amid an effort to halt the spread of citrus-canker disease. The department on Wednesday filed a motion for a stay, after taking the long-running case to the Supreme Court last …


State Appeals Ruling on Citrus Tree Payments

Daniel Cooper Citrus, financial, Industry News Release

(NSF) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has gone to the state Supreme Court after lower courts ordered payment of more than $13.6 million to Lee County homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were cut down amid an effort to halt the spread of citrus-canker disease. The department has filed a notice of appeal that is a first step in asking the …


Governor DeSantis Announces Approval of More Than $77 Million to Citrus Growers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Daniel Cooper Citrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

Bonita Springs, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $77 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to …


Citrus Recovery Money Starts to Flow

Daniel Cooper financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

Florida is starting to distribute federal disaster-relief money that was approved last year to help the citrus industry after Hurricane Irma caused massive damage to groves. Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Wednesday that the state recently awarded $14 million from a $343 million federal block grant for the industry and continues to process and …

Florida orange

Block Grant Administrator to Visit Florida Citrus Industry

Tacy Callies financial, hurricane

According to Mike Sparks, Florida Citrus Mutual executive vice president/CEO, Block Grant Administrator Elias Mathes will be in the Florida citrus industry next week and available to discuss the status and/or payment of growers’ block grant claims. Locations and time frames are as follows: Jan. 23, Bartow, Citrus Mutual Offices, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 24, Sebring, Highlands …


Rubio Calls on DeSantis to Disburse Citrus Aid

Daniel Cooper Citrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio implored Florida’s new governor Tuesday to start spreading disaster-relief money approved nearly a year ago to address massive citrus-industry damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017. Rubio said in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis that money in a $343 million block grant needs to be disbursed to citrus growers. Rubio said the federal government shutdown has …


Florida Department of Citrus Gets Boost from Bigger Crop

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Crop Forecast, financial, Florida Citrus Commission, Industry News Release

With projections that more oranges and grapefruits will be produced in Florida over the next nine months, the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) got a slightly bigger budget Wednesday. With a relatively optimistic forecast for the growing season, the Florida Citrus Commission approved a staff request to increase the department’s budget for the recently started fiscal year by nearly 4 …


Update on Hurricane Irma Financial Assistance

Tacy Callies financial, hurricane

By Mike Sparks It’s been a challenging year since Hurricane Irma struck. We understand the frustration with the lag in getting hurricane relief to growers and realize the urgency of the situation. With that said, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) applications and payments for …


Has Farming Become a Political Whipping Boy?

Daniel Cooper Agriculture, business, financial

By Gary Cooper Urban expansion is impacting agriculture throughout the Southeast. Florida appears to be the first state in this region to dramatically shift to a much more urban-thinking electorate. In light of this year’s primary elections, there are some points Florida agriculturists should be thinking about. I know many of you have been pondering some of this already, based …