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Florida Citrus Mutual

As a new citrus growing season gets underway, federal assistance tied to the hurricane-ravaged 2017-2018 harvest is finally moving into the application phase.

WLRN

The race for governor is not the only statewide political contest during primary season. Republicans and Democrats will also choose their favorite candidate to run for the state's top consumer watchdog: the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Lawmakers Sign Off On Money For Citrus Farmers

Jul 20, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott said the state will “soon” begin accepting applications from citrus farmers whose crops and groves were damaged by Hurricane Irma, after the Joint Legislative Budget Commission on Thursday accepted $357 million in federal funding for the industry.

Lawmakers Poised To Approve Citrus Farmer Money

Jul 19, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry. 

Florida's citrus growers are blaming Hurricane Irma for one of their worst seasons in decades.

In a Naples Daily News report , U.S. agriculture officials said Florida's orange production dropped nearly 35 percent from the previous season. Grapefruit production was half of what it was last year.

State Offers Framework For Pot Licenses

May 2, 2018

More than six months after an Oct. 3 deadline to issue new medical-marijuana licenses, the Florida Department of Health has released a proposed rule outlining an application process for potential operators in what could be one of the nation’s largest cannabis markets.

The federal government will provide $340 million to help Florida citrus farmers recover from Hurricane Irma.

Wikimedia Commons

Pressure is growing from Florida and other states as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to determine how to move forward with a disaster-relief package President Donald Trump signed in early February.

Lynne Sladky/AP

Thousands of Florida homeowners who had healthy citrus trees cut down by the state are finally going to get paid for their losses.

Florida Citrus Mutual

Florida citrus farmers are praising the passage of the spending bill in the U.S. Congress.

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Larry Black's family has grown oranges at the Peace River Packing Company for five generations.

 Driving through his groves in Fort Meade, Black points out all of the trees that are infected with the disease known as greening. 

Irma Contributing To Florida's Declining Citrus Forecast

Jan 16, 2018

The Florida orange usually fares well during the winter weather, but recent numbers show citrus crops were not able to weather hurricane Irma’s storm.

Putnam: Citrus Industry Squeezed If Congress Doesn't Help

Dec 13, 2017
Florida Citrus Mutual

No “plan B” is available if Congress does not add citrus funding to the latest disaster relief package, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday.

A day after the U.S. Department of Agriculture further reduced a forecast of the post-Hurricane Irma orange harvest, Putnam reiterated the need for federal assistance to the struggling industry, which could see damages from the storm top $1 billion.

Citrus Forecast Drop Spurs More Calls For Federal Relief

Dec 12, 2017

Florida agriculture leaders say the latest projected decline in citrus production underscores a dire need for federal disaster relief after Hurricane Irma.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated Tuesday that Florida will grow enough oranges to fill a decades-low 46 million 90-pound boxes, 8 percent less than in a November estimate. Meanwhile, grapefruit production held at 4.65 million boxes in the November to December estimates.

The cold front that moved through Florida this past weekend brought a light dusting of snow in some portions of the western Panhandle and even some light frost in Southwest Florida, but the cooler temperatures left Florida agriculture operations relatively unscathed. 

A cold snap is bringing freezing temperatures to Florida this weekend. But one citrus scientist says the state’s embattled growers shouldn’t see much damage. 

55,000 agriculture-related jobs are in danger in the wake of Hurricane Irma, according to a recent University of Florida analysis. Economist and study author Alan Hodges says the storms’ impacts to Florida’s growers are unprecedented. Because the state's second largest industry depends on so many other suppliers and distributors, and fuels so many local economies, Hodges says the ripple effects are not limited to growers alone. 

Florida's $2.5 billion request for federal disaster relief for its agriculture industry after Hurricane Irma might not be enough.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is predicting this year’s Florida citrus crop will be the smallest since the 1940s. The state is slated to produce 54 million boxes, down from nearly 300 million in the 2000s.

We're starting something new on Florida Matters. Once a month we're going to gather together some experienced reporters from around the state for perspective on the important news happening in Florida.

This week we're talking about the consequences of Hurricane Irma, and lessons learned from the storm.

With losses total in some areas of the state, Florida’s iconic citrus industry will need Congressional help to recover from Hurricane Irma, according to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

A long wait may be ahead for broad federal relief for Florida's beleaguered citrus industry, “decimated” last week by a lethal hurricane that crossed the peninsula at the start of the growing season, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday.

The Florida Supreme Court will not overturn the governor’s vetoes of money the state owes some residents for destroying their citrus trees. However, justices did appear to agree the homeowners are due their compensation.

Justices Reject Challenge To Scott's Citrus Veto

Jul 14, 2017

Despite clear frustrations of some justices, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday declined to invalidate Gov. Rick Scott's veto of $37.4 million that lawmakers approved to compensate homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were cut down by the state more than a decade ago.

Florida Citrus Harvest Lowest In Decades

Jul 13, 2017

The final forecast of the 2016-2017 season for Florida's struggling citrus industry shows the orange crop falling 16 percent from the previous season — which, itself, had been at a five-decades low.


Residents in Lee and Broward Counties took Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida Supreme Court this week. They’re trying to overturn Scott’s vetoes of state money owed to them after agriculture officials destroyed their healthy citrus trees. The homeowners also took the state’s agriculture commissioner to lower courts.

Scott Seeks To Scuttle Challenge To Citrus Money Veto

Jun 27, 2017

Attorneys for Gov. Rick Scott argued Monday the Florida Supreme Court should reject a lawsuit challenging the governor’s veto of $37.4 million that would compensate homeowners for healthy citrus trees cut down by the state.

Reflecting the industry’s sagging fortunes, the Florida Citrus Commission is recommending a 22 percent spending cut. 

Supreme Court Wants Quick Response On Citrus Veto

Jun 22, 2017

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Gov. Rick Scott's administration until noon Monday to respond to a lawsuit challenging the governor's veto of $37.4 million intended to go to residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate citrus-canker disease.

An anthropologist pursuing his Ph.D. at Brown University spent the past few months researching the H-2A guest worker program in Florida’s citrus industry. He heads to Mexico this summer to spend time with those workers in their own communities.

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