Lawmakers maintain that citrus funding will likely remain steady as Florida lawmakers start negotiations on a new budget in March.
A new Florida legislative session is set to start March 5th, and one thing on the table is citrus funding. Such funding is set aside for everything from marketing to research, and a recent Citrus Industry article shared the words of Senate Appropriations Chairman Sen. Ron Bradley, R-Fleming Island, who maintained there “certainly” would not be a drop from current funding. Read the details below.
Citrus Funding Details
Bradley listened to presentations from citrus-industry leaders in mid-January, and then he maintained that funding would “certainly” not drop from current funding levels, which is $23.2 million, according to the article. Bradley said “We don’t need to be taking our foot off the gas at this point in time. We need to continue to invest in research and marketing this iconic industry.”
At the same time, Bradley indicated that, while current funding likely wouldn’t change, there is a dire need for funded research that has already taken place to start to make a difference for citrus growers, especially where citrus greening is concerned. He maintained the need is for “the investments that we made start literally bearing fruit… We’re starting to see the research being applied to the fields, now we’re going to start to see what really works and what doesn’t.”
Current funding of $23.2 million was broken down in the following manner:
- $5.65 million to the Department of Citrus to market citrus and develop new varieties.
- $17.55 million to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which was divided with:
-$8 million going towards research programs.
-$7 million going to the Citrus Health Response Program.
-$2.5 million going to offset a decrease in “box tax” revenue paid by growers.
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