FLORIDA CITRUS MUTUAL maintains that Florida’s citrus industry must plant 20 million trees in the next 10 years to keep infrastructure up, stay solvent, and keep the industry afloat. A much-talked about planting program for Florida citrus growers has finally gained approval, and it should work as a good incentive for grove owners to plant new citrus trees.
Backed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program offers $5.5 million in funding to citrus growers to replant or re-establish their citrus groves. The new initiative is aimed at helping grove owners to re-establish their groves by shouldering some of the cost of improvements to the groves themselves.
The Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program will provide 75 percent cost-sharing on eligible improvements in irrigation and nutrient management and 100 percent on engineering and design costs. Growers also are eligible for up to $250,000.
There are many requirements that citrus growers must meet to be eligible for the Citrus Grove Renovation/Re-establishment Support Program. For example, producers must have been in business as a citrus producer since at least 2008, the project they are proposing must be at least 10 acres, and the producer must be enrolled in the OAWP Citrus BMP program. There are additional requirements that can be found on the CitrusIndustry.net website.
The program could also work as incentive for replanting or renovating the thousands of acres of abandoned or undermanaged groves that harbor the Asian citrus psyllid.
This column is sponsored by Griffin Fertilizer Co.
column by MIKE ROBERTS
BIO: Mike Roberts is the division manager of the Frostproof, Fla.-based Griffin Fertilizer Co. Roberts joined the company in November 2011. He has spent the majority of his career in the fertilizer/agchem industry. Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science degree in citrus production from Florida Southern College in Lakeland. He is currently the chairman of the Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association. For more information, visit griffinfertilizer.com.