Florida Citrus Industry Conference Draws Record Crowd

Jim Rogers Awards, Events, HLB Management

Citrus growers and industry stakeholders gathered in Bonita Springs last week for the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference. After being sidelined the previous two years due to COVID-19, the conference drew a record crowd of more than 500 registered attendees. The event, hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual, was packed with educational programming and meetings for various industry groups. The Citrus …

Florida State Budget and OJ Action Reported

Jim Rogers Florida, Legislative, Orange Juice

In a recent Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) newsletter, the grower association told how the Florida state budget addresses citrus issues and reported FCM’s position on an orange juice petition.  STRONG SUPPORTThe 2022–23 Florida state budget signed June 2 by Gov. Ron DeSantis totaled $109.9 billion and included more than $37 million in support for the state’s citrus industry. Citrus support …

Citrus Industry Priorities Highlighted at GCGA Annual Meeting

Jim Rogers Events, Legislative

Citrus industry growers and allied members of the Gulf Citrus Growers Association (GCGA) gathered in Fort Myers last week for the association’s annual meeting. Matt Joyner, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, recapped Florida’s 2022 legislative session and touched on some other priorities during his address to the group. Joyner said the legislative session was a strong one for …

Nutrient Application Rates Bill Signed Into Law

Jim Rogers Legislative, Nutrition

Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President/CEO Mathew Joyner announced that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1000, the Nutrient Application Rates bill. Joyner called SB 1000 “a critical piece of legislation.” See the full text of the new law here. The law takes effect July 1. “Sponsored by Senator Ben Albritton and Representative Lawrence McClure, the bill had previously passed both …

Brix Is a Key Issue for Florida Citrus Mutual

Jim Rogers Orange Juice, Regulation

Florida Citrus Mutual President Glenn Beck and Executive Vice President/CEO Matt Joyner recently met with members of Florida’s congressional delegation and others in Washington to highlight issues important to Florida citrus. The need for federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) action on lowering the Brix level was one focus of the meetings. Beck and Joyner met with U.S. Sen. Marco …

A Fruitful Partnership for Florida Growers

Jim Rogers Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Department of Citrus

Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) Chairman Steve Johnson recently cited the partnership between the FCC and Florida Citrus Mutual as “a shining example of the synergy happening in our industry.” The FCC serves as the governing board of the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC). Mutual is the state’s largest association of citrus growers. “The two entities, which at times have diverse …

Florida Legislature Supports Citrus

Jim Rogers Florida, Florida Citrus Mutual, Legislative

Matt Joyner, Florida Citrus Mutual’s (FCM) new chief executive officer and executive vice president, recently reported that FCM helped achieve substantial citrus industry support in the recent Florida legislative session. Following are citrus-related items that Joyner highlighted in the recently passed state budget: $8 million for the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) to continue basic research into HLB ($3 …

Florida OJ Tariffs Lifted in United Kingdom

Jim Rogers Orange Juice, Trade

The United States and the United Kingdom announced a trade accord on March 22. The United States will remove tariffs on British steel and aluminum, while the United Kingdom will remove retaliatory tariffs on a number of American exports, including Florida orange juice. “We appreciate the work of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in …

Grower Associations Object to H-2A Wage Methodology

Tacy Callies Economics, Labor

Florida Citrus Mutual recently published the following statement about comments it submitted regarding the wage rate for temporary foreign H-2A workers: “On January 31, 2022, Florida Citrus Mutual, along with many other agricultural entities nationwide, submitted comments to the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) in reference to the proposed changes to the methodology for the adverse effect wage rate …

Florida Orange Ratio and Brix Requirements Reduced

Tacy Callies Florida, Regulation

In response to citrus damage from a late January freeze, the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) on Feb. 3 lowered the minimum ratio requirement for oranges to 8.5:1 with a minimum Brix of 8 for fresh and processed fruit. Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), the state’s largest citrus grower association, asked for the emergency action on Jan. 31. FCM CEO Mike Sparks …

Georgia and Florida Citrus Avoid Major Freeze Damage

Jim Rogers Florida, Georgia, Weather

The Georgia and Florida citrus industries reportedly came through the Sunday morning freeze with no significant widespread damage. In Florida, temperatures in the 20s were the coldest most groves had experienced in several years. “Everything looks good,” said Lindy Savelle, president of the Georgia Citrus Association. “We got some burn on the top of trees, but very little.” Most of …

Florida Orange Brix Levels Not So Sweet Yet

Jim Rogers Orange Juice, Processing

Florida citrus growers and orange juice processors are reporting low Brix levels as the 2021–2022 harvest season continues. The Jan. 10 edition of the Market News Bulletin from Florida Citrus Mutual noted average Brix of 9.83. According to Bob Behr, chief executive officer of Florida’s Natural Growers, juice oranges being harvested now are running below average. “Citrus greening continues to …

WHIP/Block Grant Insurance Requirements

Daniel Cooper Industry News Release

With the Florida citrus crop insurance closing date of April 15 rapidly approaching, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) has fielded many questions about the requirements of the Hurricane Irma WHIP (Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program) and Block Grant programs. The information below, crafted by FCM, is designed to answer general questions. The information has been approved by both the Risk Management …

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FCM Says Irma Damage Threw Off USDA Citrus Crop Estimate

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Crop Forecast

Florida’s largest citrus grower organization said Thursday the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) initial estimate of the 2017-2018 citrus crop is well above the crop predicted by the results of their grower damage survey. Florida Citrus Mutual believes the agency could not accurately account for the full extent of the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma. Historically, the USDA has a …

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House Passes Citrus Tax Measure

Daniel Cooper Citrus, Legislative

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 …