Agriculture Press Release

February 6, 1998

Citrus Growers Approve Research Marketing Order

TALLAHASSEE Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford today announced that citrus growers have voted in a referendum to renew the Citrus Production Research Marketing Order for another six years. Implemented following a similar referendum in November 1991, the marketing order generates funds for citrus research through an assessment on each box of fruit produced.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services mailed ballots to those who produce and market citrus early in January. The deadline for returning ballots was January 31, and the count was conducted on February 6.

"This marketing order has served growers well by generating more than $6 million to conduct research vital to the future of Floridas citrus industry," Crawford said. "I compliment growers for taking the time to vote in this important referendum."

Under Chapter 573, F.S., the referendum had to win approval by a majority of the growers voting, who also represent a majority of the acreage of those voting, for the marketing order to be renewed. Results of the referendum are as follows:

  • Number of growers voting YES: 1,367
  • Percentage of growers voting YES: 74 percent
  • Acreage represented by YES vote: 343,339
  • Percentage of acreage represented by YES vote: 77.9 percent
  • Number of growers voting NO: 480
  • Percentage of voters voting NO: 26 percent
  • Acreage represented by NO vote: 97,262
  • Percentage of acreage represented by NO vote: 22.1 percent

The initial marketing order set the assessment fee at one-half cent per box. The current fee is three-tenths cent per box, and by law, cannot exceed 1 cent per box. In the past five years, the program has generated more than $6 million, which has been used on research to eradicate citrus pests and diseases, and improve varieties and management practices, among other research projects.

The marketing order is administered by the 14-member Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council, which establishes the annual assessment fee and determines what research projects are funded.

For more information about the referendum, call the Department at (850) 488-5831.


For More Information:
Pleas Strickland
(850) 488-5831

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