Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced the Florida citrus industry has overwhelmingly voted to continue funding a self-imposed tax to conduct important research for another six years. Consensus was reached through a statewide referendum that concluded to last week.
The citrus research order continuation was also amended to increase the industry’s self-imposed tax to a maximum of 3 cents per box, and to establish the Citrus Research and Development Foundation as the research advisory council to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The department circulated ballots in late November to citrus producers statewide. 76% of people in favor on the continuing the referendum, representing 363,094 acres or 87% of the state’s total citrus acreage.
“The response was unprecedented,” Bronson said. “Almost twice as many growers participated in this vote than in 2004. I believe this clearly demonstrates the industry’s concern and commitment to combating citrus diseases.”
Since 1992, the box tax has generated more than $25 million for research aimed at eradicating citrus pests and diseases, and improving varieties and management practices.