citrus

Some Florida citrus growers are finally starting to see an increase of orange production. Those who managed to stick around as the greening disease ravaged their groves have been experimenting with different variations of trees, expensive chemicals and fertilizers. 

When Adam Putnam announced his candidacy for Governor of the state of Florida last year, he stood on the steps of the stately old Polk County courthouse in Bartow in front of a cheering crowd , with the American flag waving, the state song playing -- and crates of oranges lining the stage.


Florida’s citrus industry still contributes an estimated $8 billion a year to the state economy. That’s despite its longtime battle against greening - a bacterial disease that sours the fruit and is fatal to the trees.

Citrus Growers Get A Dose Of Good News

Oct 12, 2018

A year after Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida’s citrus industry, growers are on pace to slightly surpass their production from two years ago.

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. 

Amy Green / WMFE

Florida’s citrus industry got some dire news Tuesday from an organization that advises the federal government on science and technical matters.

In a report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said a single breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening in the future is unlikely. Greening has progressed from “an acute to a chronic disease throughout the state” and has caused Florida’s industry a cumulative loss of $2.9 billion in grower revenues from 2007 to 2014.

A Florida judge is ordering the state agricultural department to immediately pay residents their share from a class-action lawsuit filed after the state removed their citrus trees.

Lee Circuit Judge Keith Kyle's ruling Tuesday follows a saga in which the state destroyed nearly 34,000 residential trees under the failed citrus canker eradication program in 2000.

Nearly 12,000 Lee County households are part of the suit filed 15 years ago.

A spokeswoman for the agriculture department told the News-Press they're reviewing the ruling.

Frustration is growing among Florida citrus farmers awaiting the distribution of $2.36 billion in federal disaster-relief money for agriculture losses sustained in Hurricane Irma.

Oranges imported to Florida --- primarily from Brazil and Mexico --- are projected to surpass what is grown in the hurricane-damaged Sunshine State this season.

Florida fruit growers and farmers have just barely begun to assess the damage Hurricane Irma wrought on the state's citrus, sugar cane and vegetable crops — but they expect it will be significant.

Florida's citrus growers haven't had it easy lately, after being buffeted by canker and citrus greening. Now, they have another nemesis to worry about - citrus black spot.

Federal officials have already slapped a quarantine on exports of fruit grown in parts of Collier and Hendry counties, as well as an area along the Polk-Highlands County line.

As the University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center prepares to celebrate its centennial anniversary, researchers there say that they’re on the cusp of developing a cure to the most serious threat facing the citrus industry worldwide:  citrus greening. 

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.

A Lee County circuit court judge said the state agriculture department needs to repay local residents for destroyed citrus trees, or explain why it refuses to pay. The Florida Department of Agriculture has less than 40 days to respond.

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.

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