program

Ag Groups Want Changes to Emergency Relief Program

Daniel Cooper financial, hurricane, Legislative

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) was among more than 140 U.S. agriculture organizations that recently urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to revise the Emergency Relief Program (ERP) for 2022. In 2022, President Biden signed into law appropriations legislation providing $3.74 billion in ERP assistance to agricultural producers impacted by numerous natural disasters in 2022. FFVA and …

speech contest

Julia C. Black Memorial Speech Contest and Scholarship Announced

Daniel Cooper Education, Scholarship

Florida Citrus Mutual has announced its inaugural Julia C. Black Memorial Speech Contest and Scholarship. Its intent is to encourage students to learn more about Florida’s agriculture industry, specifically Florida citrus, and to support high school students with scholarship funds. The application deadline for students in grades 9–12 is Dec. 30, 2023. The speech contest will include two phases: district …

Florida Citrus Hall of Fame Inductees Named for 2024

Daniel Cooper Awards

The Florida Citrus Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2024 inductees. They are Robert M. “Bob” Behr of New Smyrna Beach, George H. Streetman of Vero Beach and Leland K. Young, formerly of Bartow. They will be inducted March 1, 2024, along with the Class of 2023 inductees. The induction ceremonies and a luncheon will be held at …

Disaster Aid Update From Florida Citrus Mutual

Josh McGill hurricane, Legislative

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) recently announced that the Block Grant Assistance Act failed to receive the three-fifths of votes needed to pass in the U.S. Senate. The House passed the act in June. The bill would provide needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. FCM recognized …

PIECES OF THE PAST: Beauty Is on the Inside

Josh McGill Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette A.B. Michael was known as the “Dean of the Citrus Industry.” His Orchid Island fruit consistently won awards for its high quality. He was a major proponent of fruit for its taste and appearance. Michael was one of the first to institute grading standards in the packinghouses he ran. Here are a few excerpts from a …

Keller Is CRAFT Scientific Coordinator

Josh McGill CRAFT

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation recently hired Carisa Keller to serve as the organization’s scientific coordinator. The Highlands County resident previously worked as director of sustainability for Alico. “As CRAFT continues to grow, it’s imperative that we continue to build a team that is ready and able to support the demands of the program,” said CRAFT Executive …

PIECES OF THE PAST: The Power of Pictures

Josh McGill Miss Florida Citrus, Pieces of the Past

By Brenda Eubanks Burnette This year, John Fuller, the new global marketing manager for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), and Matt Joyner, executive vice president/chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual, served on the panel of judges for the Miss Florida Citrus/Miss Winter Haven Competition. It was interesting to introduce them both to this iconic, grassroots promotional program that …

Growers Get Update on Federal Relief Programs at Expo

Josh McGill Citrus Expo, Legislative

Matt Joyner, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), reported that a group of Florida citrus growers spoke to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency representatives about federal relief programs at the recent Citrus & Specialty Crop Expo. The Expo was held this year at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. “This year’s …

Efforts Continue to Obtain Federal Funding for Hurricane Relief

Josh McGill financial, hurricane

Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) reported that Congress was expected to receive a supplemental funding request from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in early August. “We worked with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to craft a letter urging (OMB) Director Shalanda Young to include relief for Florida’s farmers in their (OMB) request,” FCM Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer …

Citrus Commission Chairman: Marketing Programs Work

Josh McGill Florida Citrus Commission, Florida Department of Citrus, Marketing

Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) Chairman Steve Johnson recently shared his thoughts on the Florida Department of Citrus’ (FDOC) marketing programs. “As the budget has decreased over the past couple of years, and into next year, the FCC has placed a stronger emphasis on the need for the FDOC to utilize data to track their programs,” said Johnson. “Performance has played …

State Legislature Supports Florida Citrus

Josh McGill Florida, Legislative

Landon Hoffman, director of government affairs for Florida Citrus Mutual, recently provided a recap of Florida legislative actions impacting the citrus industry: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the state budget, which goes into effect on July 1. This year’s budget included more than $65 million to support Florida citrus, the highlight being more than $30 million for the CRAFT (Citrus …

Highlights from the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference

Josh McGill Events, Florida Citrus Mutual

Florida Citrus Mutual provided a summary of its Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference held in June: After a year full of challenges, the 2023 Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference once again offered an opportunity for more than 500 growers, allied members, family and friends to come together and focus on the highlights of the year and the promise of better …

florida all

CRDF Research Priorities Include Trunk-Injection Therapy

Josh McGill CRDF, Research

The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) held its June board of directors meeting in conjunction with Florida Citrus Mutual’s Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference in Bonita Springs. The June gathering is when the CRDF board passes its budget for the next year. The board funded a project by Zhanao Deng, professor of environmental horticulture with the University of Florida …

Angle Calls for Faster Research Progress on HLB

Josh McGill Events, HLB Management

Scott Angle, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources, began the educational session during the Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference with a message of urgency. He recognized the critical threat posed by HLB and said science could catch up to the problem. “Plant sciences are advancing globally at almost …

House Passes Block Grant Assistance Act

Tacy Callies hurricane, Legislative

Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18) announced the House of Representatives passed the Block Grant Assistance Act on June 12. This critical bill provides needed authority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue block grants to growers devastated by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. Those supporting the Block Grant Assistance Act include Florida …

2023 Citrus Achievement Award Winner Announced

Josh McGill Awards

Florida Grower magazine chose Glenn Beck as the 2023 Citrus Achievement Award winner. He is featured in the magazine’s June cover story. For more than 20 years, the people who have won the award have helped shape the history of the state’s citrus sector. Some years, selecting a winner is an easy process because the person checks so many boxes. …

Projects Selected for Existing Tree Therapies Program

Josh McGill CRAFT

The Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) Foundation received nearly 700 eligible applications — representing more than 42,000 acres — for its new Existing Tree Therapies Program. A random lottery drawing was recently conducted by a third party, and 159 projects have been selected for inclusion in the program. The remaining applications have been placed on a waitlist.  CRAFT staff …

Florida Budget Includes $65 Million for Citrus

Josh McGill Legislative

This year’s Florida state budget, established by the Legislature in early May, is the largest in history at nearly $115 billion. Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) reported that approximately $65 million was allocated to the citrus industry. FCM itemized what was allocated to the citrus industry prior to Gov. Ron DeSantis signing the budget:  Additionally, the Department of Agriculture package bill …

Hurricane Relief Act Advances

Josh McGill hurricane, Legislative

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture on May 11 reported favorably on a bill that would provide relief to Florida agriculture producers harmed by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022. The Block Grant Assistance Act is a bill to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can provide that relief. The bill will head to the U.S. House floor for …

Growers Share First Impressions of Trunk Injection

Josh McGill Events, HLB Management

The Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association (PRVCGA) hosted growers and industry members on National Orange Juice Day to discuss early experiences with trunk injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride (OTC-HCl). Two new OTC-HCl products, ReMedium TI and Rectify, were registered this season for use as an HLB treatment in Florida citrus. While some growers are taking a wait-and-see approach to trunk …