Citrus Coalition Urges Growers to Vote Against ‘Box Tax’

Close up of oranges

Florida citrus growers are pushing back against a tax they’ve been paying to fund research they argue hasn’t, and doesn’t, benefit them. Over many years and $180 million later, research to reduce or eradicate citrus greening has done neither, they argue.

In November 1991, Florida Citrus Growers voted to enact a Citrus Research Order that imposed a tax on every box of citrus produced, except for limes, to fund the Citrus Research and Development Foundation. The proceeds of the tax, now 3 cents a box, known as the “box tax,” was created to support CRDF research “that would benefit all growers,” the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) says.

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Florida Citrus Industry Yields Down in 2020-2021 Season

Close up of oranges

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that citrus growers in Florida produced under the expected yield for the 2020-2021 growing season that ended on Monday.

According to a release by the USDA on Monday, the total yield of all oranges in 2020-2021 was 52.8 million 90-pound boxes, 4.2 million fewer boxes than what the pre-season forecast in October 2020 predicted at 57 million.

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