program

Ag Groups Want Changes to Emergency Relief Program

Daniel Cooper financial, 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 Cooper financial, 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 …

Disaster Aid Update From Florida Citrus Mutual

Josh McGill hurricane, Legislative

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently announced that the Block Grant Assistance Act failed to receive the three-fifths of votes needed to pass in the U.S. Senate. The House passed the act in June. The bill would provide needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. FCM recognized …

Federal Aid for Producers Impacted by 2022 Natural Disasters

Josh McGill financial, 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 …

Damage Documentation Tips for Hurricane Season

Josh McGill hurricane

By Matt Smith One of the things I like most about being an Extension agent is getting to work with new growers. Despite all odds, some of these growers are getting into citrus. With hurricane season underway, it’s good for new growers to know — and for established growers to refresh themselves on — how to prepare before a storm …

Federal Disaster Responsibility Act Introduced

Josh McGill hurricane, Legislative

U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack introduced the Federal Disaster Responsibility Act on Sept. 5. She said the bill, which fully funds the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF), ensures that block grants are secured for Florida’s growers, among other things. The grants would make sure growers get the necessary tax breaks from hurricane losses they suffered. The bill …

Prevent and Recover From Hurricane Damage

Josh McGill hurricane, Tip of the Week

By Christopher Vincent, Tripti Vashisth and Gillian Zeng Michalczyk Hurricane Ian harmed citrus trees in much of Florida, especially in areas where sweet oranges are grown. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers are tracking the health of trees in groves around the state as they struggle to recover. Fall applications of gibberellic acid before the storm …

Early Reports: Citrus Fared Well in Idalia

Josh McGill Cold Hardy, hurricane

The cold-hardy citrus region endured another test of Mother Nature on Wednesday with Hurricane Idalia moving through the Southeast. One industry expert is optimistic that the area’s trees survived this latest challenge.  “I am happy to report that citrus in Georgia appears to have fared very well,” said grower Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association and member of the …

What To Do When Groves Flood

Josh McGill hurricane, Weather

By Mongi Zekri During heavy rains in the summer, excess water must be removed from the root zone. Flooding injury can be expected if the root zone is saturated for three days or more during extended summer rains at relatively high soil temperatures (86 to 95 degrees). Flooding during the cooler December–March period can be tolerated for several weeks at …

NOAA Increases Hurricane Activity Forecast

Josh McGill hurricane, Weather

Earlier this month, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters increased their prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season from a near-normal level of activity to an above-normal level of activity. They believe that current ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-level warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures, are likely to counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing …

Efforts Continue to Obtain Federal Funding for Hurricane Relief

Josh McGill financial, 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 McGill financial, 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 McGill financial, 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 …

dorian

Hurricane Forecast Raised Again

Josh McGill hurricane, Weather

Colorado State University (CSU) researchers on July 6 increased their Atlantic hurricane forecast for the second time this year. They now call for an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season in 2023. However, they note that uncertainty with this outlook is larger than normal. In June, CSU predicted a near-average hurricane season. In April, CSU predicted a slightly below-average season.   NEW …

Stress Factors and Hurricane-Damaged Trees

Josh McGill hurricane

By Syed Bilal Hussain, Rachel Gearhart, G. Zeng Michalzcyk and Christopher Vincent Hurricane Ian in 2022 caused significant damage to Florida citrus groves. Even groves that experienced only Category 1 winds have begun to decline as the weather has warmed. Signs of canopy decline include branch dieback and leaf drop. Branches with new growth are also experiencing leaf drop. These …

RAISE Act Would Improve Grower Disaster Relief

Josh McGill hurricane, Legislative

Several members of Congress from Florida recently introduced the Restore Agricultural Investment, Stability and Expansion (RAISE) Act of 2023. The act would provide the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with standing authority to help American growers recover after natural disasters by issuing block grants. Supporters said the bill better positions the measure to reach President Joe Biden’s desk and become …

Hurricane Preparedness for Citrus Groves: Part Two

Josh McGill hurricane, Tip of the Week

By Mongi Zekri, Robert E. Rouse and Jonathan H. Crane Growers can prepare for the damaging winds from a hurricane or tropical storm by ensuring that their equipment is working and ready to go. SECURE SUPPLIESTanks containing fuel, fertilizer and other materials should be kept full, so they do not move in the wind and rain and to ensure that …

Recovery Will Require a Multipronged Management Program

Josh McGill HLB Management, hurricane, Production

By Michael Rogers The 2022–23 Florida harvest season is now behind us. Yield losses magnified by the weather events this past season position the next couple of years as “make or break” for many growers. The lingering effects of hurricane Ian will impact next season’s crop as trees continue to recover and balance out canopy regrowth with fruit production. Despite …

Hurricane Preparedness for Citrus Groves: Part 1

Josh McGill hurricane, Tip of the Week

By Mongi Zekri, Robert E. Rouse and Jonathan H. Crane Growers look forward to the rainy season because it helps their young trees grow fast and their mature trees produce good crops. However, along with the anticipation of the rainy season, there is also the reality that tropical storms or hurricanes may bring too much rain and wind, causing devastations …

House Passes Block Grant Assistance Act

Tacy Callies hurricane, Legislative

Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18) announced the House of Representatives passed the Block Grant Assistance Act on June 12. This critical bill provides needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. Those supporting the Block Grant Assistance Act include Florida …