On June 2, Florida governor DeSantis approved all $32.6 million worth of citrus-related funding in the state budget, Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) Executive Vice President/CEO Mike Sparks reported. The budget had been set earlier by the state Legislature.
Sparks detailed the citrus appropriations:
- Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), $3 million
- Citrus Research and Field Trial (CRAFT) program, $5 million
- New varieties, $500,000
- Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) marketing, $17 million which includes $5 million recurring and $12 million for the Citrus Recovery Act
- Federal Citrus Health Response Program funding pass through, $7 million
CRDF is a research- and development-funding agency formed primarily to combat the devastating disease HLB. CRAFT is a program that provides growers incentives to plant citrus trees that will be used to research practices aimed at mitigating the impacts of HLB in groves. The FDOC is the long-standing state agency that primarily promotes Florida’s citrus products.
“The $32.6 million equates to 58 cents per box at today’s production levels,” Sparks stated. “By any measure, it was a great year despite tough times.”