florida citrus

Researchers at the University of Florida released a study this month in the journal Phytopathology, saying there's a way to more quickly and efficiently kill bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.

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.


Amy Green / WMFE

Environmental groups are raising concern about a proposal to expand the use of antibiotics against a disease that has crippled Florida’s iconic citrus industry.

The fear is an increase in antibiotic-resistant diseases for humans.

The groups are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to deny the proposal to expand the use of the antibiotic streptomycin against citrus greening disease.

The Center for Biological Diversity delivered a petition with more than 45,000 signatures to the federal agency. Here is the organization’s Emily Knobbe.

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. 

CAROL VANHOOK / CREATIVE COMMONS VIA FLICKR

The Florida citrus industry has experienced its worst harvest season since World War II as it continues to recover from Hurricane Irma.   

Orange production is off more than 34 percent from the last growing season, according to the News Service of Florida, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest forecast numbers show no improvement in that figure over the last month. 

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.

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.

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a new state budget that includes more than $52 million to pay homeowners in Broward and Palm Beach counties whose trees were removed more than a decade ago in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The homeowners were part of class action lawsuits against the state.

President Donald Trump is threatening to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imported into the United States, and Friday the European Union released a list of products it says it will tax in retaliation—including Orange Juice.

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.

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.

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