Reminder on Insurance Requirements for Hurricane Irma Relief

Josh McGillFlorida, hurricane, Industry News Release

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is reminding growers that participation in the Florida Citrus Recovery Block Grant (CRBG) requires the purchase of federal crop and/or tree insurance. The CRBG is available to growers who suffered crop damage due to Hurricane Irma in 2017. The insurance must be bought for two years (Part 3, Option 1) or four years …


Governor DeSantis Announces Approval of More Than $77 Million to Citrus Growers Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, financial, hurricane, Industry News Release

Bonita Springs, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has approved more than $77 million in payments to citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma through the Citrus Recovery Block Grant since January 2019. Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to …


Hurricane Irma Raises Black Spot Threat

Ernie Neffblack spot, Diseases

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension pathologist and associate professor Megan Dewdney reported that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Tim Gottwald thinks there’s a “fairly high” chance that Hurricane Irma spread citrus black spot. Black spot had been confined primarily to Southwest Florida, especially Collier and Hendry counties, before Irma hit the state with damaging …

Hurricane Irma: Relief Update and Frustration

Ernie Neffhurricane

Representatives of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) updated the Florida Citrus Commission Wednesday on Hurricane Irma reimbursements from the Citrus Recovery Block Grant. They heard from some commissioners concerned that growers have been waiting a long time for relief funds for the storm that hit Florida hard in September 2017. Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt told the representatives there …

crop forecast

Deadline Approaching to Apply for Hurricane Irma Aid

Tacy Callieshurricane

Citrus growers affected by Hurricane Irma are reminded that signup for assistance through the 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) ends Nov. 16, 2018. Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands Country Citrus Growers Association, says it is imperative for growers to make formal arrangements to secure an application appointment for WHIP and the State Block Grant Program prior to …


Update on Hurricane Irma Financial Assistance

Tacy Calliesfinancial, hurricane

By Mike Sparks It’s been a challenging year since Hurricane Irma struck. We understand the frustration with the lag in getting hurricane relief to growers and realize the urgency of the situation. With that said, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) applications and payments for …


Florida Citrus Recovery Grant Program for Hurricane Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane

The Florida Citrus Recovery Grant Program (CRGP) is available to citrus producers who maintain an active citrus farming operation and who suffered citrus crop damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. In order to qualify for CRGP, producers must first apply for the Federal 2017 USDA Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP). Producers receiving assistance under either CRGP or WHIP must obtain …


FCM Applauds Congress for Passing Hurricane Irma Relief Package

Daniel Cooperhurricane, Industry News Release

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), Florida’s largest citrus grower organization, thanks members of the U.S. House and Senate for approving a Florida agriculture disaster package early Friday that will send billions in relief to growers hit hard by Hurricane Irma. The package — passed as part of the federal budget deal — provides a total of $3.6 billion to the U.S. …


Maximizing Insurance Claims After Hurricane Irma

Ernie Neffhurricane

Attorney Steven Boyne with Gunster law firm in Jacksonville suggests ways growers can maximize insurance claims resulting from Hurricane Irma. His remarks summarize a presentation he made at the Florida Agriculture Financial Management Conference earlier this month. “The more documentation you can provide, the better,” Boyne says. “Don’t view the adjuster as an adversary. If you work closely with the …

Citrus Expo

Impacts of Hurricane Irma on HLB Field Research

Tacy CalliesNews from our Sponsor

By Harold Browning Column sponsored by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation The effects of Hurricane Irma in early September on the Florida citrus industry were obvious and immediate. Serious loss of this year’s fruit crop, tree damage and standing water in groves were experienced. Every effort must be made to address these impacts on Florida citrus growers. The hurricane …


Hurricane Irma Impact on Florida Orange Production

Daniel CooperCitrus, Crop Forecast, Industry News Release

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) included forecasts of the United States and Florida 2017-2018 orange production in the Crop Production report released Oct. 12, 2017.  The report does not directly forecast the impact of Hurricane Irma on the 2017-2018 production. Although it is difficult to know the exact impact on the potential crop production, the …


Mutual Updates Efforts to Obtain Hurricane Irma Aid

Ernie Neffhurricane

Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows updates the grower association’s efforts to obtain aid for growers in the wake of Hurricane Irma. “It’s been a month since Irma hit, and we at Mutual have been very busy understanding the gravity of the situation and communicating that with our congressional delegation and leaders with the USDA,” Meadows says. “Everybody that needs …

Growers Discuss Hurricane Irma Losses and Issues

Ernie Neffhurricane

Growers shared their concerns about numerous Hurricane Irma issues in a grower forum Friday in Arcadia. Multi-county citrus Extension agent Steve Futch summarizes the discussions. Futch says there was talk about potential disaster relief for growers and crop insurance. There was some discussion about whether there was enough damage to receive crop insurance payments. “I think the consensus was that …


Hurricane Irma Smashed Recovery; Aid Needed

Ernie Neffhurricane

Just before Hurricane Irma whacked Florida, groves and crops appeared to be improving after years of losses from HLB, grower and Florida Citrus Commission Chairman Ellis Hunt Jr. says. Now, he adds, growers need federal aid to recover. “We had just finished our (crop) estimate and we were showing an increase in Lake Wales,” Hunt says. “Our groves looked noticeably …

Florida Citrus Faces Major Crop Loss After Hurricane Irma

Abbey TaylorCitrus, 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 …

crop forecast

Highlands County Citrus Status After Hurricane Irma

Tacy CalliesWeather

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 CalliesWeather

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 CalliesWeather

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 Report from Gulf Citrus Growers

Tacy CalliesCitrus

Ron Hamel, Gulf Citrus Growers Association executive vice president, says it has been difficult to reach area growers in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma due to the lack of power. At this point, he says, people are busy assessing the damage to the citrus crop and trying to get standing water out of groves. Hamel says Collier and Hendry county …