Hurricane Relief Update from Sparks

Ernie Neffhurricane

Florida citrus growers have long expressed frustration with the delay in getting government aid for damages they suffered from Hurricane Irma in the fall of 2017. “We are at Florida Citrus Mutual certainly as frustrated as the Florida citrus growers,” Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said this week. “And, yes, we hear often from individuals” who are frustrated by the time …

crop insurance

Post-Irma Crop Insurance Adjustments Flawed

Ernie Neffcrop insurance

Lakeland agricultural attorney Michael Martin discusses shortcomings he says persisted in the adjustment of crop insurance for citrus following Hurricane Irma in September 2017. “What we found out was that the loss adjustment manual in crop insurance talks about above-ground injury, which if you have freeze damage is very helpful,” Martin says. “But the loss adjustment manual doesn’t address the …


Experts Suggest Varieties for Irma-Damaged Citrus Replanting

Daniel CooperIndustry News Release, Rootstocks, Scions, Varieties

As growers decide how to use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to recover from damages caused by Hurricane Irma — and as they cope with the ongoing impact of citrus greening — University of Florida researchers are suggesting varieties for them to replant. Producers can grow varieties that show tolerance to greening — also known as huanglongbing, or HLB. …

Grower Discusses Hurricane Relief Funds

Ernie Neffhurricane

Vic Story was one of hundreds of growers who attended Florida Citrus Mutual-sponsored meetings in early July describing how Hurricane Irma relief funding will work. “We got hit pretty hard in places last year, and we didn’t pick as much fruit as we thought we were going to, especially earlies (early-season oranges),” Story says. “And so, we can use some …


Growers Hear About Hurricane Recovery Funding

Ernie Neffhurricane

Approximately 120 growers attended a Monday night meeting in Lake Alfred to learn about eligibility and application requirements for federal relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Irma hit the Florida citrus industry hard in September 2017. The federal government only recently ironed out details of a citrus relief program for growers totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. The …


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 …


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 …

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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …

new york times

Calls Increase for Irma Aid to Flow to Farmers

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

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 …


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 …


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 …

How Will Irma Affect Citrus Canker Management?

Tacy CalliesDiseases

By Evan G. Johnson The citrus canker season is quickly approaching again, so it is time to start planning your canker management program to avoid fruit drop and fresh-market quality loss. It is easy to forget the importance of controlling citrus canker with the current state of HLB in Florida. However, citrus canker can cause almost complete crop loss if …


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 …


Helping the Florida Citrus Industry Recovery After Irma

Daniel CooperCitrus, hurricane, Industry News Release

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Florida orange grower Ellis Hunt appeared on the FOX Business Network to discuss their efforts to help the Florida citrus industry recover after Hurricane Irma. Sponsored Content5 Facts About Fire Ants and How to Control ThemApril 30, 2024BRAZILIAN RESEARCH RESULTS IN A UNIQUE PRODUCT FOR HLB MANAGEMENTApril 1, 2024Protect Your Groves From Citrus LeafminerMay 29, …