Florida Citrus Granted New Incentive To Grow On

On the heels of learning about a major orange juice purchase from USDA, growers and Florida citrus industry stakeholders have more good news to grow on. A much sought-after citrus planting program has come to fruition.

The Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program, a $5.5 million initiative backed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), is designed to help growers re-establish citrus groves by providing 75% cost-share on eligible improvements in irrigation and nutrient management and 100% on engineering and design costs.

The program is available now and FDACS is accepting applications. A memo provided by FDACS’ Office of Agricultural Water Policy contains more details and application information.

In addition, growers are eligible for up to $250,000 on improvements to irrigation and nutrient management for replanting or re-establishing groves.

According to Mike Sparks, Executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual, 20 million trees will need to be replanted to reach pre-HLB era production levels. During the recent Florida Citrus Industry Annual Conference, Sparks mentioned the huge number necessary to sustain the state’s signature crop. At the time, he also said he was confident promising legislation would get passed in regard to planting incentives. His hunch was right. So the program’s announcement comes at a critical time.

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3 comments on “Florida Citrus Granted New Incentive To Grow On

  1. Another give away of our tax dollars to wealthy Corp. I guess they will see you get your “fair share”! All of you are a den of thieves! Let them spend their own money to expand,since they will reap the gains. You make me sick!

    1. Bringing back the citrus industry will affect many more people than just the growers…thousands of jobs are dependent on the industry, and Florida’s economy has benefited for decades from strong production.

    2. Hey Clayton – these funds shouldn’t be used for any “expansion”. They should only be used where there were previous groves (probably abandoned now) “with irrigation”. Let’s say an old grove with inefficient overhead irrigation being replaced with microjet irrigation, weather station, soil moisture probes, fertigation system, automatic on/off, etc. Improvements would have to save water and lessen nutrient inputs. Citrus growers need all the help they can get right now (big and small growers alike). FDACS does put a $250,000 cap per producer (should cover approx 250 acres). You can drive up and down Hwy 27 and look left and right and see which groves need to be fully pushed and completely reset. Unfortunately, many groves are dying/died.

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