Wilton Simpson: Florida’s New Agriculture Commissioner Issues Statement

 JANUARY 4, 2023 Wilton Simpson was sworn in as Florida’s 13th Commissioner of Agriculture this week. He issued the following statement: “I am deeply appreciative of the privilege and responsibility of serving as Florida’s 13th Commissioner of Agriculture and leading the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Florida’s agriculture and related industries are the quiet, and often overlooked, giant of …

Citrus Trunk Injection Product Registered for Use 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) on Oct. 28 granted a 24(c) special local need registration for the citrus trunk injection of ReMedium TI for the control or suppression of HLB. The TJ BioTech product is oxytetracycline (OTC) hydrochloride, an antibiotic. “EPA (the federal Environmental Protection Agency) has 90 days to object, but it is my understanding …

BMP Inspections Put on Hold Due to Hurricane Ian

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) suspended Best Management Practice (BMP) site visits to the counties most impacted by Hurricane Ian. The emergency order was declared on Monday and will be in place through Dec. 30, 2022. The counties include Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, …

It’s Back: The Giant African Land Snail

By Frank Giles On June 23, 2022, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) confirmed the detection of a giant African land snail (GALS) in the New Port Richey area of Pasco County. FDACS’s Division of Plant Industry started surveying the area, enacted a quarantine and began treatment to eliminate the pest. GALS are illegal to import or possess in the …

Oriental Fruit Flies Found in Florida

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has confirmed the presence of Oriental fruit flies, Bactrocera dorsalis, in Pinellas County. Two male flies were captured during routine trapping in a methyl eugenol-baited fruit fly detection trap in St. Petersburg on May 17. Expanded intensified delimitation trapping over the 80-square-mile surrounding area resulted in two additional males being captured in traps …

Florida Citrus Research Order Referendum Results

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) announced that the state’s citrus growers reauthorized the Florida citrus research order in a statutorily required referendum conducted by the department. The results of the ballots returned yielded 76% “yes” votes representing 69% of total citrus acres. The Florida Citrus Research Order has a six-year cycle and is subject to renewal …

Fried Speaks About Farmer Stress Awareness Initiative

By Clint Thompson Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Nikki Fried formerly launched the FDACS Farmer Stress Awareness Initiative on Thursday in Plant City, Florida. Fried hopes to create awareness about a concern not easily talked about in the agricultural sector – stress and its impact on mental health. “We know the suicide rate for farmers is double …

Florida Agriculture Department Gears up for Summer Nutrition Program

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried is announcing the continued partnership between the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide summertime meals for Florida’s school children. The Summer BreakSpot Program provides meals at no cost to children 18 and under while schools are closed for the summer. …

Understanding the Citrus Research Order Vote

By Frank Giles This month, Florida growers will be receiving a ballot to vote on the Citrus Research Order. It is the mechanism that allows growers to tax their production up to 3 cents per box of fruit to fund research. The money raised through this box tax is how the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) is funded, along …

Florida Hemp Program Celebrates its Second Year

April 27 marked the two-year anniversary that Florida’s hemp program overseen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). That’s when the agency began to accept applications to grow industrial hemp following formal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FDACS manages and regulates Florida’s hemp program and permit kitchens that make edible cannabis products, under the …