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Rep. Franklin filed bill to aid growers impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole

Florida congressman wants federal govt to aid hurting citrus farmers

A USDA report released on February 8 delivered a bad forecast: this year’s harvest could be 61% less than last year’s lackluster crop, which was the lowest since World War II. Florida Citrus Mutual, the trade group that represents the state’s growers, points out that the actual financial loss is likely around $675 million since the UF/IFAS estimate does not include citrus trees uprooted and destroyed by Ian’s fury.

Rep. Scott Franklin, whose district includes the state’s most productive citrus groves, said something must be done quickly to help growers survive financially until the next growing season arrives. “It’s important that we do everything we can to help them get back up on their feet,” he said in an interview. “There was a sense that the industry had finally started to turn the corner — and we’ve had some good solutions, I think, to some of the troubles that we’ve faced with greening — and then, we get this that comes along at the worst possible time.”

Last week, Franklin filed a bill that would streamline the process of helping growers impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. If passed, it would provide many growers aid using existing USDA “block grant” funds.


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