Rucks on Citrus Varieties and Industry Recovery

Ernie NeffHLB Management, hurricane, Varieties


Phil Rucks of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery weighs in on the increasing demand for late versus early orange varieties, the impact of Hurricane Irma and HLB. Rucks notes that over the past 30 years, the demand for early-season oranges versus late-season oranges has essentially reversed. In the past, he says, early varieties accounted for about 60 percent of plantings. Now, … Read More

Irma Citrus Relief Package Moving Forward

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) is thankful U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently unveiled additional details about the Florida Citrus Irma Relief Package. The package will total $465 million and will include the Wildfire Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP) at $125 million and a block grant program at $340 million. WHIP will be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service … Read More

Crafting Details of the Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Block Grant

Abbey Taylorhurricane


Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $340 million block grant that will go toward Florida citrus growers for Hurricane Irma losses to production expected during the 2018 through 2020 crop years. It includes reimbursement for the cost of buying and planting replacement trees – including resetting and grove rehabilitation – and for repair of damages to … Read More

Exclusive: Perdue Discusses Hurricane Aid for Growers

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane

On May 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released details about the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP), which includes financial aid to growers impacted by Hurricane Irma and other natural disasters. The information covered everything from eligibility to the formula that will be used to calculate payments. AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor had the opportunity to get some exclusive … Read More

Perdue Announces Florida Citrus Hurricane Recovery Details

Abbey TaylorCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


(Washington, D.C., May 1, 2018) – Under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced new details on eligibility for a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). Additionally, USDA will provide $340 million through a block grant to the state of Florida for Hurricane … Read More

Post-Irma Ag Relief Could Come Soon

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


Florida farmers awaiting federal disaster relief to help cover losses from Hurricane Irma last September may learn more details this week about the highly anticipated program. The $2.36 billion Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) is expected to offer a direct-payments model that would not hold growers to traditional payment limitations and would establish a state-managed program to handle tree … Read More

Perdue to Rooney: Expect Citrus Disaster Relief Plan Next Week

Tacy Callieshurricane

On April 18, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that the details of the $2.3 billion disaster relief program for Florida citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma will be finalized by next week. Congressman Thomas J. Rooney (R-FL), who spearheaded the relief effort, issued the following statement in response: “Today, Secretary Perdue reassured Florida citrus producers that he is working to make sure that disaster relief is made … Read More

Sales Tax Rebate for Growers Who Suffered Hurricane Damage

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Industry News Release


The Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott have approved a sales tax rebate program for agricultural producers and growers who suffered damages due to Hurricane Irma. Florida Farm Bureau has offered a dedicated webpage as a resource to farmers and ranchers who can take advantage of this opportunity at On March 23, Governor Rick Scott signed a sales tax … Read More

Rucks Discusses Hurricane Damage and Delays

Ernie Neffhurricane


The damage that Hurricane Irma inflicted on citrus nurseries and citrus groves in September caused long delays in tree deliveries to growers, says Phil Rucks, owner of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery in Frostproof. Rucks says 59 of the state’s 77 citrus nurseries sustained some degree of damage in the hurricane. Much of the nursery damage wasn’t repaired for half-a-year as … Read More

Scott Urges Quick Action on Agriculture Aid

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release


Gov. Rick Scott is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to move quickly to get disaster-relief funding into the hands of Florida citrus growers, as it may be another three months before farmers can start to apply for the money. In a letter Tuesday, Scott also asked Perdue to “customize federal aid for Florida citrus growers” to meet their needs. … Read More

Irma Agriculture Aid Slated to Start in Summer

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


A program to distribute federal disaster aid to Florida farmers hit by Hurricane Irma will be set up within the next 100 days, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Friday. “USDA (the U.S. Department of Agriculture) is working as quickly as possible to develop procedures and a system by which affected producers can access disaster assistance,” Perdue said in a … Read More

Funding to Help Ag Producers Recover After Hurricanes

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative


2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program to Aid Recovery in Rural Communities U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion, as provided by Congress, to help America’s farmers and ranchers recover from hurricanes and wildfires. The funds are available as part of the new 2017 Wildfires … Read More

Calls Increase for Irma Aid to Flow to Farmers

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

new york times

Pressure is growing from Florida and other states as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to determine how to move forward with a disaster-relief package President Donald Trump signed in early February. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., joined colleagues from Texas, Louisiana and California this week in prodding U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue … Read More

Rubio Offers Hope for Farmers Hit by Irma

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Industry News Release


Federal disaster relief for farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma may be available “as early as next week,” according to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. Monday’s update from Rubio’s office came after the Miami Republican spoke with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who had a similar conversation with Gov. Rick Scott Friday. Florida citrus farmers have expressed increasing frustration as they await … Read More

Citrus Growers in Waiting Game for Hurricane Aid

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Industry News Release, Legislative


Frustration is growing among Florida citrus growers awaiting the distribution of $2.36 billion in federal disaster-relief money for agriculture losses sustained in Hurricane Irma. “We’re still waiting, maybe not as patiently as we were to start with,” Florida Citrus Commission Chairman G. Ellis Hunt said Wednesday. President Donald Trump signed the disaster-relief package in February, five months after Hurricane Irma … Read More

Sen. Nelson Calls on Federal Agencies to Distribute Disaster Aid

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release


U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) took to the Senate floor late Monday afternoon to urge the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture to immediately release the disaster funding approved by Congress in February to help Floridians who are still recovering from Hurricane Irma. “It has been almost six months since Hurricane Irma struck Florida, and it’s been about … Read More

HCCGA Discusses Disaster Relief Funding

Abbey Taylorhurricane, Legislative, Weather


After months of fighting for disaster relief funding, Florida agriculture finally received the answer it has been waiting to hear. On Feb. 9, a disaster relief package was passed through Congress that allocated $3.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with $2.36 billion going toward Florida agriculture producers who suffered hurricane-related crop loss. While this is good news for … Read More

Help for Florida Farmers Advancing in Senate

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

orange juice

Farmers and other parts of Florida’s agriculture industry could receive about $75 million in post-Hurricane Irma assistance from the state next year under a measure moving forward in the Senate. The Senate Finance and Tax Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday unanimously backed the proposal (SB 1608) by Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring. The proposal, in part, would reduce property assessments … Read More

Tips for Post-Hurricane Tree Recovery

Ernie Neffhurricane


University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences horticulturist Evan Johnson offers care tips for trees recovering from Hurricane Irma. A key suggestion is not to push the growth of trees damaged by the storm. Johnson notes that many trees suffered from standing in water for five days and more, and from having leaves blown off. Those issues lead … Read More

Putnam on Disaster Funding for Florida Agriculture

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

citrus crop

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed a spending bill that includes more than $2.3 billion for agricultural assistance: “The passage of this spending bill is a critical first step to finally getting Florida’s farmers, ranchers and growers long-awaited and desperately needed relief. Without this emergency assistance, … Read More