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Hurricane Irma causes $2.5B in damage to Florida crops

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State officials say Hurricane Irma caused more than $2.5 billion in damage to Florida’s agricultural community.

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Citrus industry looks for aid after Irma

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A long wait may be ahead for broad federal relief for Florida’s beleaguered citrus industry, “decimated” last week by a lethal hurricane that crossed the peninsula at the start of the growing season, state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Wednesday.

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Irma delivers punch to agriculture

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Florida fruit growers and farmers have just barely begun to assess the damage Hurricane Irma wrought on the state’s citrus, sugar cane and vegetable crops—but they expect it will be significant. With power and communications still out across much of Florida, officials said Tuesday that getting a full picture will take weeks. What remains unknown: Exactly how much damage the crops suffered, how much producers might recover from crop insurance, and how much more people might pay for their morning…

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Squeezed: Supreme Court denies challenge of citrus veto

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The Florida Supreme Court Thursday dismissed a challenge of Gov. Rick Scott‘s veto of reimbursements to homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state. The homeowners had asked the court to undo Scott’s veto of more than $37 million by filing a petition for writ of mandamus, an order to an elected official to perform a certain action. In a 6-1 decision, the court declined, mentioning lower court actions that had been filed.

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Rick Scott says citrus veto is constitutionally valid

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Gov. Rick Scott responded Monday to a lawsuit brought by homeowners whose healthy citrus trees were torn down by the state, saying his veto of reimbursements to homeowners was “consistent with his constitutional authority.” The homeowners have asked the Florida Supreme Court to undo Scott’s veto of more than $37 million. The Republican-controlled Legislature agreed to pay homeowners in both Broward and Lee counties whose trees were torn down in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The money was…

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Latest forecast: Oranges up, grapefruit steady

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Florida orange production went up a bit and grapefruit production leveled off, according to the latest forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The Florida Department of Citrus announced the estimates Friday. “The June report projects the state’s orange crop to increase by 500,000 boxes to 68.5 million for the 2016-17 season,” its press release said. “The grapefruit crop held steady at 7.8 million boxes and tangelos dipped slightly by 10,000 to 1.62 million.” The monthly forecasts, however, are…

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Citrus production forecast remains in freefall

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The federal government is forecasting a 14 percent decrease in Florida orange production next year and a drop in grapefruit of 11.5 percent. The National Agriculture Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its report Wednesday. In another sign of the citrus greening epidemic facing the industry, the service foresees yields of only 70 million boxes of oranges and 9.6 million boxes of grapefruit, the state’s signature fruits. It was the first citrus crop forecast for the 2016-2017 season.  “Although not unexpected, today’s…

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