Florida citrus growers were presented with some numbers concerning hurricane recovery funding recently.
Early July saw a meeting hosted by Florida Citrus Mutual where numbers were discussed concerning hurricane recovery funding, according to a Citrus Industry article. According to the article, “federal government only recently ironed out details of a citrus relief program for growers totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.” See the details of the meeting, and the numbers concerning hurricane recovery funding, below.
Hurricane Recovery Funding Numbers
According to the article, the meeting, touched on “key points made by officials with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) and others.” Citrus Mutual CEO Mike Sparks said, “Growers can understand and actually see that there’s a program being finalized. They know that the applications can be submitted July 16.”
According to Sparks, the FSA will be administering funds from the Wildfires and Hurricane Indemnity Program (WHIP). Concerning hurricane recovery funding numbers, Sparks shared ““The WHIP program in total for the state of Florida for citrus probably will approximate $100 million. There is an additional $340 million … that can be secured by the block grant.”
“It really gives the appearance that USDA, the Farm Service Agency, in each county is ready to roll up their sleeves and walk hand in hand with the growers,” Sparks also said, adding, “That’s critically important, because once that documentation is in place, it’s an automatic next step to the block grant that’s going to be administered by the (Florida) Division of Emergency Management.”
According to the article, “The maximum payment per grower is $125,000, with the exception that growers getting 75 percent of adjusted gross income from agricultural pursuits may receive up to $900,000.” Similarly, an FSA agent maintained that a “50-acre grower would receive a WHIP payment of about $209,000, or a little over $4,000 per acre,” via a hypothetical situation. Sparks explained that he thought that particular number to be overly high, and that growers would get less.
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