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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.

Provisions in the medical marijuana legislation approved during last week’s special session are raising eyebrows.  The bill contains language seemingly written to favor specific companies.

UPDATED: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at 2:20 PM

Gov. Rick Scott has vetoed a part of the state budget that would’ve compensated residents in Lee and Broward Counties years after the state removed their healthy citrus trees. The 16-year battle for reimbursement continues.

Florida legislators have agreed to pay millions to homeowners in two counties whose healthy citrus trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker.

Florida Citrus Mutual

Florida may drop a long-running legal battle and instead agree to pay millions to homeowners across the state whose healthy citrus trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker.

Scott Young

The disease called citrus greening has wreaked havoc on our state's most iconic industry. Florida is harvesting the smallest citrus crop in 52 years.

State and federal dollars have been pouring into frantic efforts to save groves. Some of the efforts seem to be paying off. But is it too late for the small family farms?


Florida Citrus Mutual

This week on Florida Matters, we're revisiting a discussion on the breathtaking decline in Florida's citrus industry. We're also learning about new farming and research methods that show promise for the industry's future.

 


Across the country, advocates are hailing industrial hemp as a miracle crop. Some Floridians even think the plant could surpass oranges as an agricultural powerhouse. But lawmakers in the capitol are urging caution.

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