Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s Statement On Historically Low Citrus Crop Forecast
By Space Coast Daily // October 14, 2016
Orange production down 14 percent
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its first citrus crop forecast for the 2016-2017 season:
“Although not unexpected, today’s initial citrus crop forecast is disheartening and further proof of the trying times facing Florida’s citrus industry.”
Production of our state’s signature crop is down 70 percent from 20 years ago, and the future of Florida citrus depends on a breakthrough in the fight against greening.
We must continue to support our growers and provide them with every tool available to combat greening.”
The USDA’s forecast of 70 million boxes of oranges for the 2016-2017 season is down more than 14 percent from the 81.5 million boxes harvested last season and represents a decline of more than 70 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season
In support of Florida’s growers and industry groups seeking approval from the EPA for the use of certain antimicrobial treatments to combat greening, Commissioner Putnam issued a crisis declaration this spring regarding their Section 18 application to the Environmental Protection Agency, which allowed the immediate use of these treatments.
This past legislative session, Commissioner Putnam helped secure more than $24 million in state funding to continue critical research and support Florida’s citrus industry.
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