citrus black spot

Florida Citrus Black Spot Quarantines Expanded

Daniel CooperDiseases, Florida, Regulation

Agriculture officials have increased the existing citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine area in Florida and established a new quarantine area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS DPI) took these actions. CBS is a fungal disease that leaves fruit speckled …

citrus crop

Florida Citrus Crop Reduced

Daniel CooperCrop Forecast, Florida

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Statistics Board released an update to the 2023–24 citrus crop forecast on May 10. FLORIDA ORANGES The Florida orange forecast is lowered 1 million boxes to 17.8 million boxes, representing a 5% decrease from the April forecast. The reduction is in the Valencia crop, which dropped 8% from 12 million boxes to 11 …

orange production

How Florida Orange Production Plummeted 92% in 20 Years

Daniel CooperFlorida, Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service (USDA ERS) recently recounted how natural disasters and diseases have reduced Florida’s orange production by 92% since the 2003–04 season.  USDA ERS noted that Florida’s citrus industry has long been susceptible to freezes, hurricanes and disease. It pointed out that a series of devastating freezes in the 1970s and 1980s caused production …


Update on Florida Ag Legislation and Budget Presented

Daniel CooperFlorida, Legislative

By Maegan Beatty In mid-April, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted the 9th annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma. The conference examines critical policy issues facing agribusiness leaders and provides economic insights. Participants heard from policymakers, key stakeholders and expert researchers on the farm …


Florida OJ Has Solid Share of Consumers

Daniel CooperFlorida, Orange Juice, Research

A significant portion of consumers are drawn to Florida orange juice (OJ) despite recent economic setbacks, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) study shows.  “There is an intrinsic value that consumers have for Florida orange juice. When they think of Florida, orange juice is often part of the imagery,” said Marisa Zansler, director of economic …


Florida Legislators Support Agriculture

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Florida, Legislative

The 2024 Florida legislative session wrapped up last month, and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) believes it is very clear that state legislators support the agriculture industry. The association expressed appreciation for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and the Florida Legislature for championing legislation that sought meaningful solutions to some of the challenges facing the industry. BENEFICIAL BILLS …

florida citus show

What to Know Before You Go to the Florida Citrus Show

Daniel CooperEvents, FCS24, Florida

We are excited to kick off the Florida Citrus Show tomorrow! Here are some things you need to know before you go: Show Address The Florida Citrus Show will be held in the parking lot between the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center (2199 South Rock Road) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research …

citrus acreage

Florida Citrus Acreage Still Tops in United States

Daniel CooperFlorida, Land

As part of its recently published Florida Citrus Statistics 2022–23, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) reported Florida’s citrus acreage at 332,256 acres, down 11% from the prior season. The net loss of 43,046 acres was 11,000 acres more than was lost the previous season. New plantings at 6,203 acres were down from the previous season. All …

Florida citrus

Summary of the 2022–23 Florida Citrus Season

Daniel CooperExport, Florida, Production

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) summarized Florida citrus production, value and exports last season in its new Florida Citrus Statistics 2022–23 report. PRODUCTION Florida’s total citrus production in 2022–23 was 18.1 million boxes, down 60% from the previous season’s 45.3 million boxes. Florida’s orange production, at 15.8 million boxes, was down 62% from the previous season. …


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. …


Surviving to Fight Another Day

Daniel CooperFlorida, HLB Management

Bill Lennon is working with researchers to learn more about survivor trees that are standing up to HLB. Bill Lennon is a fifth-generation citrus grower who can recall the industry’s glory days when Central Florida had hundreds of thousands of citrus acres before the 1980s freezes pushed production southward in the state. But he’s remained dedicated to the area, managing …

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College Has New Major

Daniel CooperEducation, Florida

Florida Southern College (FSC) in Lakeland will offer a new horticulture, land and resource management major in August for incoming students and current students who want to add a major or switch majors. It consists of 28 credit hours (without general education courses). Sixteen of those hours come from horticulture science, and the rest are business oriented with a focus …


Florida Citrus Part of USDA Plant Protection Funding

Daniel CooperFlorida, Pest Management

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $5 million to Florida for plant-health protection. The funding is part of a nationwide effort to strengthen the country’s infrastructure for pest detection, surveillance and mitigation, as well as protect the U.S. nursery system. Through the authority of the Plant Protection Act (PPA) Section 7721, USDA is providing more than …


Citrus Industry Survey Looks at Planting Intentions

Daniel CooperFlorida, planting, Survey

By Frank Giles Last month, results of the Florida Citrus State of the Industry Survey showed a majority (84%) of growers had treated at least a portion of their groves with trunk-injection therapy. Will this new HLB treatment give growers confidence to plant new trees? Survey results indicate growers are putting trees into the ground. Here’s a look at more …

Peace River Valley

Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association Ceases Operations

Daniel CooperCitrus, Florida

Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) is ending its 31-year run. After much consideration and deliberation, the association’s board of directors announced the decision to close down in a letter released Feb. 12 by Executive Director Emma Keller. The letter stated that the tough decision to close the association “comes after facing numerous challenges that have significantly impacted our …


Proposal to Increase Florida Fresh Citrus Assessment

Daniel CooperFlorida, Fresh, Regulation

The federal marketing order assessment rate for fresh Florida oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos would increase under a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. The proposed rule would increase the assessment rate for the 2023–24 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.015 to $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent for Florida citrus handled under …

Florida Citrus Industry Survey Reflects Industry Optimism

Tacy CalliesFlorida, Survey

By Frank Giles Last year’s citrus season was marred by continuing production declines from HLB and hurricanes. The combined effect of both dropped the final all-orange output to 15.8 million boxes. Certainly, the numbers reflected the dire situation the industry found itself in after the storms. But after last year’s harvest, growers were given clearance to utilize new trunk-injection therapies …


Efforts to Eliminate Multiple Ag Taxation in Florida

Daniel CooperAgriculture, 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 Citrus Marketing Order Amended

Tacy CalliesCAC, Florida, Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending the Florida Citrus Marketing Order for fresh citrus to reduce membership of the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) and to update quorum requirements. Other amendments to the marketing order include: CAC recommended these changes to help fulfill membership and quorum requirements and ensure a more efficient and orderly flow of business. Authority …

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 …