Mutual Petitions FDA Regarding OJ Brix

Ernie NeffOrange Juice

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) is making efforts to protect growers in the event Florida oranges don’t meet the minimum Brix requirement for not-from-concentrate (NFC) orange juice (OJ). FCM recently sent a formal request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking enforcement discretion to protect growers from the likely contingency that Florida’s 2021-22 orange crop may not meet FDA’s …

FDACS Cost-Share Program for Food Safety

Ernie Nefffinancial, Food Safety

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is offering a cost-share program for producers of specialty crops who obtain food-safety certification. Producers who obtained food-safety certification for specialty crop products (fruits, vegetables or tree nuts) through several programs could be eligible for reimbursement of 75% of certification costs, up to $1,500 per producer. Programs include the U.S. Department …

FDACS Launches COVID-19 Webpage

Ernie NeffCOVID-19

There’s now a one-stop webpage for Florida growers to keep up with COVID-19 food and agriculture-related information. The Keep Florida Growing webpage was launched April 13 by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). “With COVID-19 deeply affecting not only Floridians but also agriculture, our state’s second-largest economic driver, we’re launching a new one-stop page to support consumers …

COVID-19 Guidance From FDACS

Ernie NeffCOVID-19

In response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried explained why agriculture can continue working. “Florida’s farmers and ranchers put food on the tables of our neighbors across the state and nation,” Fried stated in a media release issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). …

pesticide

UF/IFAS and FDACS Working to Bring Pesticide Licensing Online

Daniel CooperCitrus, Industry News Release, Pesticides

(UF/IFAS) — University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) are working to identify ways to provide online testing for certified pesticide applicators while in-person testing is unavailable due to COVID-19. All in-person UF/IFAS Extension programs and activities, including pesticide testing, have been postponed or cancelled through …

bill

FDACS Begins Efforts to Eradicate Oriental Fruit Fly

Daniel CooperFood Safety, fruit, Industry News Release

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has positively identified the presence of three Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in south Miami-Dade County. The initial fly was discovered during routine trapping, and additional flies were discovered during expanded trapping activities. The department, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, monitors more than 56,000 fruit fly traps statewide as an …

FDACS Promotes the Abandoned Grove Initiative

Abbey TaylorPests

Research shows that abandoned citrus groves can harbor unwanted pests and citrus diseases. Therefore, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control is raising more awareness about its Abandoned Grove Initiative to help destroy those safe havens for deadly pests. Callie Walker, chief of the FDACS Bureau of Pest Eradication and Control, says …

Available Cost-Share Funds from FDACS

Kelsey FryLegislative, Water

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy has released a statement that pertains to producers within certain districts who are willing to purchase equipment and be honored up to a 75 percent reimbursement on the equipment invoice. The funds are being administered through Marion County and Putnam County soil and water conservation districts. …

citrus black spot

Florida Citrus Black Spot Quarantines Expanded

Daniel CooperDiseases, Florida, Regulation

Agriculture officials have increased the existing citrus black spot (CBS) quarantine area in Florida and established a new quarantine area. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry (FDACS DPI) took these actions. CBS is a fungal disease that leaves fruit speckled …

florida

Update on Florida Ag Legislation and Budget Presented

Daniel CooperFlorida, Legislative

By Maegan Beatty In mid-April, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) hosted the 9th annual Florida Agricultural Policy Outlook Conference at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Wimauma. The conference examines critical policy issues facing agribusiness leaders and provides economic insights. Participants heard from policymakers, key stakeholders and expert researchers on the farm …

support

Florida Legislators Support Agriculture

Daniel CooperAgriculture, Florida, Legislative

The 2024 Florida legislative session wrapped up last month, and the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) believes it is very clear that state legislators support the agriculture industry. The association expressed appreciation for Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and the Florida Legislature for championing legislation that sought meaningful solutions to some of the challenges facing the industry. BENEFICIAL BILLS …

Citrus Budwood

CITRUS NURSERY SOURCE: New Leadership at Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration

Daniel CooperCitrus Nursery Source

By Peter Chaires The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Bureau of Citrus Budwood Registration is key to maintaining a healthy citrus nursery industry. The bureau ensures that Florida nurseries have access to clean, quality, reliable budwood. It is important for industry to remain familiar with the team running the bureau. Considering recent changes to the bureau’s leadership, …

citrus acreage

Florida Citrus Acreage Still Tops in United States

Daniel CooperFlorida, Land

As part of its recently published Florida Citrus Statistics 2022–23, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) reported Florida’s citrus acreage at 332,256 acres, down 11% from the prior season. The net loss of 43,046 acres was 11,000 acres more than was lost the previous season. New plantings at 6,203 acres were down from the previous season. All …

planting

CRAFT Program Promotes New Planting and Knowledge

Daniel CooperCRAFT, planting, Research

Since its founding in 2019, the Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program has been responsible for the planting of just under 10,000 acres of new trees. This includes about 6,000 acres of solid-set groves and just shy of 4,000 acres of resets. CRAFT is a first-of-its-kind program and considered an innovation among funding agencies needed to support such efforts. …

Florida citrus

Summary of the 2022–23 Florida Citrus Season

Daniel CooperExport, Florida, Production

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) summarized Florida citrus production, value and exports last season in its new Florida Citrus Statistics 2022–23 report. PRODUCTION Florida’s total citrus production in 2022–23 was 18.1 million boxes, down 60% from the previous season’s 45.3 million boxes. Florida’s orange production, at 15.8 million boxes, was down 62% from the previous season. …

citrus-producing

CITRUS NURSERY SOURCE: Implications of New Citrus-Producing States

Daniel CooperCitrus Nursery Source

After Alabama was recently designated a “citrus-producing state,” there were questions on how this might impact the movement of citrus plant material and fruit. Citrus Nursery Source reached out to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Division of Plant Industry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ) …

budget

Florida Budget Includes $47 Million for Citrus

Daniel Cooperfinancial, Florida, Legislative

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently reported that the Florida Legislature’s fiscal year 2024–25 budget includes $47 million to aid the state’s citrus industry. The funding for various programs is: Additionally, the Florida Legislature’s budget includes a $100 million annual appropriation for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which aims to protect working agricultural operations from development by establishing conservation easements. …

lennon

Surviving to Fight Another Day

Daniel CooperFlorida, HLB Management

Bill Lennon is working with researchers to learn more about survivor trees that are standing up to HLB. Bill Lennon is a fifth-generation citrus grower who can recall the industry’s glory days when Central Florida had hundreds of thousands of citrus acres before the 1980s freezes pushed production southward in the state. But he’s remained dedicated to the area, managing …

bmp

Citrus BMP Manual Being Revised

Daniel CooperBMPs

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson has tasked his staff with reviewing and revising all of the best management practices (BMP) manuals that impact Florida agricultural operations in 2024. Revision work on the citrus BMP manual was undertaken by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy in 2020. However, that work was never …

awards

Nominations Open for Two Florida Ag Awards

Daniel CooperAwards

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is accepting nominations through March 1 for the Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award and the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards. The Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award annually recognizes the achievements of women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture. The Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are presented annually, spotlighting environmentally …