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When Can Growers Expect to Receive Relief Funds?

Abbey Taylor financial, Legislative, Weather

Florida growers can now breathe a sigh of relief since disaster funding is coming their way. On Feb. 9, a relief package was passed to help the United States following the array of natural disasters in 2017, which included approximately $2.4 billion dollars specifically for U.S. agriculture. However, the big question on everyone’s mind is, how and when will growers …

VIDEO: Rubio on Lack of Additional Disaster Relief for Citrus

Abbey Taylor hurricane, Industry News Release, Weather

Washington, D.C. – Prior to supporting the U.S. Senate’s passage tonight of the disaster relief package previously passed by the U.S. House, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the Senate floor regarding the package’s lack of additional disaster relief for Florida’s citrus producers, whose crops were decimated by Hurricane Irma. The full speech can be watched here. A partial transcript …

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Citrus Commission Chairman Testifies on Hurricane Damage

Abbey Taylor Citrus, hurricane, Weather

The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee held a meeting to discuss Hurricane Irma damage on Oct. 12 in Tallahassee. The meeting featured two panels of growers and ranchers who gave testimony about damage they have witnessed from the hurricane. Ellis Hunt, third-generation citrus grower and chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, gave testimony about his family farm as well as the …

Freeze Alerts by Phone for California Citrus Growers

Len Wilcox California Corner, Weather

Freeze alerts by phone will be available this winter for California citrus growers. California Citrus Mutual (CCM) is implementing a new system to help Central Valley growers stay updated on freeze alerts. Growers can sign up for text notifications to be alerted when the CCM Central Valley Weather Watch forecast is updated. This will include updates during critical nights. To …

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hears About Citrus Damage

Abbey Taylor hurricane, Legislative, Weather

Citrus was a hot topic Thursday morning during the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee meeting in Tallahassee to discuss hurricane damage to Florida agriculture. Led by Chairperson Denise Grimsley, the committee heard from two sets of panelists as they explained the damage in their respective industries. The Florida Department of Citrus was represented by citrus grower Ellis Hunt in one of …

Commissioner Putnam Releases Initial Hurricane Damage Estimate

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, Weather

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has released an initial estimate on agriculture damage from Hurricane Irma. The estimate will serve as a baseline for policymakers as they create a disaster relief package for those impacted by the storm. Although these estimates are not final, they are a starting point. The document includes estimates on crop loss and cost of damages. …

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Federal Program Provides Help for Irma Storm Damage

Josh McGill Weather

Release from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service If your area suffers damage from a natural disaster, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) can help. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program relieves imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fires, wind­storms and hurricanes. Aid may include financial and technical assistance to remove debris from streams, protect …

Officials Survey Hurricane Damage in Florida

Abbey Taylor Weather

On September 18, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Congressman Tom Rooney ad Senator Marco Rubio flew in a helicopter to get an aerial view of farm damage from Hurricane Irma. Described by Rubio as an “agriculture catastrophe,” the storm ravished many Florida crops. Since many Florida vegetables were not in the ground yet, they …

Florida Citrus Faces Major Crop Loss After Hurricane Irma

Abbey Taylor Citrus, Weather

Unfortunately, Florida citrus did not fare well in Hurricane Irma. Lisa Lochridge, public affairs director for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, says from the reports that she has received, the largest produce impact was on the citrus industry. Hurricane Irma brought strong winds that stripped the fruit from many trees and caused major crop loss. Lochridge says uprooted trees …

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Highlands County Citrus Status After Hurricane Irma

Tacy Callies Weather

A day after Hurricane Irma exited Florida, Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association, said, “Early anecdotal estimates are that half to two-thirds of the crop is on the ground in our area.” He says that from the little bit he has been out and around in the Central Florida Ridge, he has not seen any …

Peace River Citrus Damage from Hurricane Irma

Tacy Callies Weather

Steve Smith, executive director of the Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association, says he is getting a mixed bag of reports on Hurricane Irma damage from growers in his area. “Some growers are calling in with limited damage with a few pieces of fruit on the ground, and others are saying heavy damage and trees pushed over on the outside …

Hurricane Irma’s Effect on Indian River Citrus

Tacy Callies Weather

The Indian River area on the East Coast apparently fared the best of all Florida citrus-growing regions hit by Hurricane Irma. “I’m hearing the vast majority of the crop made it through,” says Indian River Citrus League Executive Vice President Doug Bournique. He thinks a maximum of 20 percent of the region’s crop was lost. Bournique says many groves remain …

Hurricane Irma Damage Is Serious for Florida Citrus

Tacy Callies Weather

As Hurricane Irma tore through Florida on September 10-11, all of the state’s citrus-growing regions were affected to some degree. “There’s no doubt we’ve had some serious damage,” said Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Sparks. “The amount of loss varies substantially from the various citrus-growing regions.” In Florida’s southwest citrus region, Sparks said, “Crop …

Two Main Concerns for Citrus in Hurricane Irma

Abbey Taylor Weather

The threat of Hurricane Irma has been looming over Florida. Now, the state is roughly three to four days from facing the storm. While people prepare their hurricane kits, Florida citrus growers are doing what they can to protect their groves. However, at this point, very little can be done. Calvin Arnold, center director of the Southwest Florida Research and …

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Citrus Growers Preparing for Hurricane Irma

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Weather

Unfortunately, Florida citrus growers are having to prepare for Hurricane Irma, which at this point looks like it will impact the Sunshine State. Mongi Zekri, the multi-county citrus agent in the Hendry County Extension office in LaBelle, says this is especially troubling with harvest just around the corner. Hear more: Read a recent Citrus Industry magazine article by Mongi Zekri, …

Preparing for and Recovering from a Hurricane

Tacy Callies Citrus, Weather

By Mongi Zekri, Bob Rouse and Jonathan Crane Hurricane preparation for citrus growers this year is the same drill as every year. Each year, growers look forward to the rainy season to help their young trees grow fast and their mature trees produce good crops. This year, growers will be praying for good distribution of rains following a year of …

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UF-Developed Tools to Help Cope with Weather

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Industry News Release, Weather

by Brad Buck University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Florida weather is unpredictable. While you cannot control the weather, you can use UF/IFAS-developed weather databases to improve farming, home irrigation and flood control. Researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have written a new Extension document that summarizes several weather data …

Freeze Damage Symptoms and Recovery for Citrus

Tacy Callies Freeze Protection, Weather

By Mongi Zekri, Chris Oswalt, Steve Futch and Laurie Hurner The extent of cold injury to citrus depends on a number of factors, and its expression may occur over an extended period of time. Factors responsible for freeze damage include minimum temperature, duration of freezing temperatures and stage of tree acclimation. Susceptibility of trees to freezing temperatures can also be …

citrus cold protection

Will There Be a Citrus Freeze?

Ernie Neff Freeze Protection, Weather

Rick Lusher, project manager for the Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN), won’t predict whether there’ll be a citrus freeze this season. But he did tell growers in Sebring on December 15 what weather the federal government is expecting through freeze season. “The most recent three-month outlook that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) provides shows above normal temperatures and below …