California Budget Adds Funds to Fight HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Legislative

Capitol building

California is adding funds to help the fight against HLB. Governor Brown signed the 2017 Budget Act this week, which authorizes $10 million to fight the spread of the invasive Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) insect and the deadly and incurable plant disease it can carry, huanglongbing (HLB). “California Citrus Mutual applauds Governor Brown and members of the California Legislature for … Read More

Scott Seeks to Scuttle Challenge to Citrus Money Veto

Abbey TaylorLegislative

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott argued Monday the Florida Supreme Court should reject a lawsuit challenging the governor’s veto of $37.4 million that would compensate homeowners for healthy citrus trees cut down by the state. Responding to the lawsuit filed last week in the Supreme Court, Scott’s attorneys filed a 22-page document that said the governor has broad line-item veto … Read More

Ag Industry Gives Input on Farm Bill

Abbey TaylorAgriculture, Legislative

A House Agriculture Committee listening session, “The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” took place on June 24 in Gainesville, Florida. Those who attended the informal farm bill hearing spoke about how they are affected by policies in their daily lives. Farmers, ranchers and stakeholders were encouraged to tell how the bill affects them so that the representatives could … Read More

HLB Funding Discussed During Farm Bill Listening Session

Josh McGillLegislative

Various topics were discussed during the House Agriculture Committee’s first farm bill listening session held last Saturday in Gainesville. One of those was the citrus industry, and more specifically funding to help fight HLB. Hear more from Harold Browning, chief operations officer of the Citrus Research and Development Foundation.    

Farm Bill Listening Session in Gainesville

Abbey TaylorLegislative

“The Next Farm Bill, Conversations in the Field,” a House Agriculture Committee listening session, is taking place tomorrow, June 24, in Gainesville, Florida. The session is a great opportunity for farmers to speak about policies and how they are directly impacted by them in the field. House Committee members and Chairman Michael Conway highly encourage people within the industry to … Read More

Troutman Joins Lineup of Florida Ag Commissioner Hopefuls

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Industry News Release, Legislative

by Lloyd Dunkelberger News Service of Florida Former state Rep. Baxter Troutman entered the race for state agriculture commissioner on Monday, priming his Republican bid for a Cabinet seat with $2.5 million of his own money. “For two decades, I’ve been building a business and continuing my work in Florida agriculture,” Troutman, of Winter Haven, said in a statement. “Real … Read More

California to Increase Citrus Grower Fees

Len WilcoxLegislative

Capitol building

The California State Assembly approved a bill that will allow the citrus industry to increase fees to provide funds for activities to protect residential and commercial citrus trees from the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the deadly huanglongbing (HLB) plant disease it can carry. SB 243 by Senator Galgiani (Stockton) allows for an additional $9.6 million in grower assessments to … Read More

Florida Ag Commissioner Officially Announces Run for Governor

Josh McGillLegislative

Among a large crowd of state agriculture leaders, grassroots producers and others at the courthouse in his hometown of Bartow, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam made official today his expected bid for governor. Some observers in Florida’s agriculture industry note today’s historical perspective, in that Florida is now third in population in the United States and urbanizing. Therefore, it could … Read More

Argentine Lemons Entering U.S. Market Despite Objections

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Legislative, Trade

The Trump administration is moving to permanently allow Argentine lemons to enter the U.S. market. This is despite objections from California citrus growers and warnings of dire consequences for California lemons, including exposing the industry to new pests and diseases. “It is evident that the California citrus industry is the pawn in a greater trade deal between the Trump administration … Read More

What Growers Say and Hear at Mutual Meetings

Ernie NeffBactericides, Legislative

Growers

Florida Citrus Mutual has been cooking for its grower members, hearing what’s on their minds and telling what the association is doing for them at area meetings this spring. At a recent meeting in Bartow, Mutual CEO Mike Sparks summarized what growers are talking about, and what Mutual is telling the growers. “The entire citrus industry knows we’re still in … Read More

Florida Agriculture Faces Big Hits in Budget Proposals

Josh McGillLegislative

By: Abbey TaylorFlorida agriculture is facing some big budget cuts. The House’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 28 to discuss its budget proposal for the 2017–2018 fiscal year. The Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 29 to discuss its budget proposal. While some dollar amounts in the competing proposals were different, Florida … Read More

Mutual President Summarizes Legislative Issues

Ernie NeffLegislative

legislative issues

Florida Citrus Mutual President John Barben summarized Mutual’s efforts at the state and federal levels during the recent Highlands County Citrus Growers Association annual meeting in Sebring. “We talked a little bit about going after our (state legislative) funding for this year – for CRDF (Citrus Research and Development Foundation), for New Varieties (Development and Management Corp.) – trying to … Read More

‘It’s Not a Pretty Picture,’ Industry Leader Tells State Senators

Ernie NeffCitrus Greening, Legislative

bactericides survey

On February 21, leaders of three key Florida citrus organizations acquainted the Florida Senate’s Agriculture Committee with the issues facing the citrus industry. They summarize their presentations: “It’s not a pretty picture,” says Florida Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks. He describes the huge production losses and increased costs that HLB disease has created. “Right now our whole future revolves around … Read More

ACP Movement Shows History Repeating Itself

Kelsey FryCitrus, Legislative

florida citrus

Research is looking at what we can learn from the Asian citrus psyllid’s (ACP) history, specifically ACP movement throughout Southern California. Psyllid finds in Central California are mimicking the insect’s history of spread. University of California, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources held it’s California Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing Research and Extension Summit at UC Riverside. The summit was … Read More

House Passes Citrus Tax Measure

Daniel CooperCitrus, Legislative

bactericides survey

U.S. House Gives Citrus Tax Incentive Overwhelming Bipartisan Support The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday that provides growers with an incentive to plant more trees and bolster the ailing Florida citrus industry. By a 400-20 vote, Republicans and Democrats approved the Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act which allows growers to immediately expense the cost of planting … Read More

Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program

Tacy CalliesLegislative

bactericides survey

Mike Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, issued the following report: “As you know, a big part of Mutual’s mission over the past three years was to try and uncover, create and support grower incentive programs to get more trees in the ground and rebuild our industry. Through the hard work of Commissioner Adam Putnam and his staff … Read More

Senator Rubio: ‘If We Don’t Have Replanting, We’re Going to Lose the Industry’

Kelsey FryAgriculture, Citrus, Citrus Greening, Legislative

On July 21, 2016, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) visited the Lakeland area to tour a citrus grove affected by citrus greening.  Sen. Rubio was joined by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. They visited Gapway Groves in Auburndale to meet growers and industry leaders to discuss the grave problem facing Florida’s citrus industry. Rubio and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) … Read More

A Wage and Hour Primer for the Citrus Industry

Kelsey FryLegislative

As an agricultural employer, you face many business challenges and you must comply with a number of employment-related laws every day, especially if you work with labor-intensive crops. Ensuring that your employment policies and pay practices comply with the law not only helps you avoid liability for potential labor violations, but keeps your workforce productive and motivated. Simply stated, complying … Read More