California Grower on Citrus Greening: It's Not If It Comes, It's When"

December 7, 2017 07:55 AM

Some congressional delegates are threatening a government shutdown over hurricane relief funding. Lawmakers in Texas and Florida say the disaster funding plan, which could be attached to the continuous resolution, isn’t enough for their states. Lawmakers need to pass a bill by December 8 to avoid a government shutdown.

Florida agricultural commissioner Adam Putnam sent an urgent letter to the state’s congressional delegation and asked for hurricane relief after the $120 billion ag industry underwent more than $2.5 billion dollars in damage at the hands of Hurricane Irma.

Some looking for assistance are citrus growers in Florida where production has already been cut before the hurricane due to a disease. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is forecasting Florida’s orange production to total 50 million boxes which could be 27 percent less than last year, and the lowest since the 1945-1946 season. 

That means for the first time in decades, California produced 4 million more tons of citrus than Florida during the 2016-2017 season. 

AgDay national reporter Betsy Jibben talks with Al Stehly, a citrus grower from Escondido, California about what he’s doing at preventing the disease and whether it can be prevented at all.

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