Fertilizer Exemption Issued Due to Hurricane Ian

Jim Rogers BMPs, Florida, Regulation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) recently issued an emergency rule allowing growers enrolled in best management practices (BMP) programs to apply replacement fertilizer to reestablish crops impacted by Hurricane Ian. Under the rule, producers can make those applications without fear of being out of compliance with their respective BMP manuals. The emergency rule will be in …

Oriental Fruit Fly Eradicated in Florida County

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests, Regulation

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced on Sept. 23 that the oriental fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) has been eradicated from Pinellas County. In June, FDACS Division of Plant Industry positively identified oriental fruit flies detected during routine trapping. Additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. A quarantine was established in the St. Petersburg area that …

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 …

New Insurance Option for Florida Citrus Growers

Jim Rogers Florida, Insurance

By Ariel Singerman During the 2021–22 citrus season, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) started offering a new option to Florida citrus growers for insuring their crop. The policy is called Actual Production History (APH) and provides coverage for yield losses based on a farm’s historical records. While the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy also uses farm records as a …

Agencies Act to Assist Florida Agriculture

Jim Rogers Florida, hurricane

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association reported the following actions that Florida government agencies took during and after Hurricane Ian to aid impacted agricultural entities, including citrus. SUSPENSION OF WEIGHT RESTRICTIONSThe Florida Department of Transportation announced it suspended the size and weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies and agricultural commodities, including citrus and sugar. …

Rucks Nursery Becomes Conservation Area

Jim Rogers Florida, Land, nursery

A partnership between Conservation Florida, the Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Department of Defense secured funding to create a conservation easement for Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery. The easement provides protection for rare upland wildlife and plant species. The 320-acre nursery is conserved in perpetuity and will never be developed, but will remain productive agricultural land, …

Florida Citrus Value Drops Steeply

Jim Rogers Florida, Production

The $438 million preliminary on-tree value of the 2021–2022 Florida citrus crop is 29% less than the $613 million revised value for 2020–2021, according to a federal Citrus Summary. The summary reported production, price and value of the 2021–2022 crop. It was released Sept. 7 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. PRODUCTION PLUMMETS Florida’s all citrus …

CRAFT Cycle 4 Coming Soon

Jim Rogers CRAFT, Florida, planting

The application window for Cycle 4 of the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program is expected to open in early October and remain open for a period of 60 days. Projects approved for year four of the CRAFT program in Florida will have a planting deadline of June 2024. CRAFT is working to finalize a presentation of factors of …

Florida Citrus Acreage Takes a Hit

Jim Rogers Acreage, Florida

Total citrus acreage in Florida dropped 8% in the past year, to 375,302 acres, according to the Commercial Citrus Inventory Preliminary Report. The report was released Sept. 7 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The net loss of 32,046 acres is 19,942 acres more than was lost the previous season. New plantings, at 7,980 acres, are …

Keller Is New Leader for Florida Citrus Association

Jim Rogers Citrus, Florida

Emma Keller became executive director of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) Aug. 8. Keller, who is finishing her senior year at Warner University, succeeds Kait Shaw. She is working on a degree in agricultural science with a minor in communications. Keller was born in Charlotte County, Florida. “I grew up on an orange grove in Punta Gorda,” …

Florida Black Spot Quarantine Expanded

Jim Rogers Diseases, Florida, Regulation

Federal and state agriculture officials have expanded the citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine area in Florida. They have added four sections in Collier County and five sections in Glades County. The action was taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of …

Packinghouse Day Is Aug. 25

Jim Rogers Events, Florida, Fresh

Fresh citrus growers, packers and shippers will meet for Citrus Packinghouse Day on Aug. 25 at the Citrus Research and Education Center’s (CREC) Ben Hill Griffin Hall in Lake Alfred, Florida. They will hear the most current information about food safety, worker visa options and other topics related to fresh fruit handling and transport. The free event will include exhibitors …

Woman of the Year in Agriculture Named

Jim Rogers Awards, Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) named Madeline Mellinger the 2022 Woman of the Year in Agriculture. Mellinger founded Glades Crop Care, Inc. in 1972 and is still the company’s chief operating officer. Glades Crop Care provides integrated pest management and crop counseling services to more than 65,000 acres of plants and more than 60 varieties of fresh …

Snails Moving Into Young Trees and Covers

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests

Some species of snails in Florida groves, normally seen on irrigation emitters and tree trunks, have recently “taken up residency in young citrus trees,” University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension agents Chris Oswalt and Ajia Paolillo reported. Here’s a summary of what the agents wrote in a recent UF/IFAS Central Florida citrus Extension newsletter: Once …

Aid Available to Conserve Florida’s Natural Resources

Jim Rogers Environment, Florida

Florida growers and others looking to make farm improvements can apply for aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). CIGThe NRCS will invest up to $900,000 for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) for agricultural resource priorities in Florida. Fiscal Year 2022 conservation resource priorities for the NRCS in Florida are: climate resilience, grazing, soil health and urban …

Startups Aim to Aid Citrus Industry

Jim Rogers Florida, Technology

Two University of Florida (UF) startup companies have formed a union to help reverse the trend of declining Florida citrus production. Agriculture Intelligence and Satlantis believe they can offer a powerful tool to help the state’s growers more closely monitor their trees and manage problems faster. The startups, housed in one of UF’s business incubators, will combine expertise in precision …

New Citrus Sustainability Push in Florida

Jim Rogers Events, Florida, Orange Juice

Sustainability has been a buzzword in agriculture for years, often with varying definitions of what the term means. In recent years, many industries have adopted self-assessment tools to monitor their sustainability and report their results to their customers. Much of this monitoring and reporting is being done via online platforms. During Florida Citrus Mutual’s board of directors meeting held during …

Changes to Florida Citrus Marketing Order Proposed

Jim Rogers Florida, Marketing, Regulation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced proposed amendments to the Florida citrus marketing order. As recommended by the Florida Citrus Administrative Committee, changes would include reducing the size and quorum requirements of the committee and revising the nomination and selection processes of committee members. The requirement of allocating committee seats based on volume from each district would also be …

Oriental Fruit Flies Found in Florida

Jim Rogers Florida, Pests

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has confirmed the presence of Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in Pinellas County. Two male flies were captured during routine trapping in a methyl eugenol-baited fruit fly detection trap in St. Petersburg on May 17. Expanded intensified delimitation trapping over the 80-square-mile surrounding area resulted in two additional males being captured …

Florida State Budget and OJ Action Reported

Jim Rogers Florida, Legislative, Orange Juice

In a recent Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) newsletter, the grower association told how the Florida state budget addresses citrus issues and reported FCM’s position on an orange juice petition.  STRONG SUPPORTThe 2022–23 Florida state budget signed June 2 by Gov. Ron DeSantis totaled $109.9 billion and included more than $37 million in support for the state’s citrus industry. Citrus support …