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IFA. Extension r T
4509 George Boulevard, Sebring, Florida 33875 (863) 402-6540
The Highlands County Citrus Extension Newsletter
Highlands Citrus Talk
Vol. # Number 12 November 2009
Citrus Research Order Referendum
Between now and November 16th you should be receiving a ballot for you to vote regarding the
Florida Citrus Production Research Order (box tax to support research). This marketing has been
in existence since 1991 and is voted on for renewal every six years. It generates funds for grants
for citrus research. Many times it is used to leverage additional monies for scientific research from
state, federal and other sources.
Several opportunities are available for you to gain more insight into the referendum. First is a
statewide conference call which will be hosted by Florida citrus Mutual on November 12th at 10:00
a.m. To reach the conference call dial 1-866-544-4631. Attached is a "white paper" developed by
Florida Citrus Mutual and FDACS on the Proposed Citrus Research order which gives details on
the order and frequently asked questions. Also, each of the other grower organizations can help
you understand the order, its scope, and purpose.
Be sure and mark your ballot and post it by December 4th. If you do not get a ballot in the mail
by November 20th, they will be available here at the Bert J. Harris Ag center.
Citrus Greening Website Home Page
The Citrus Greening Website Homepage at the CREC has been updated.
The title is: Low Volume Applications: An Emerging Technology in the Citrus
The article addresses commonly asked questions about low volume applications and the
current products available for use. Included are links to the 24-C Labels for all of the
products labeled for low volume application for psyllid management.
The direct link to the Citrus Greening Web Site is http://qreening.ifas.ufl.edu
Private Applicator License Review and Training
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Steve Futch's newsletter regarding Private
Applicator Review and Training. CEU's are offered for existing applicators and the
exams will be offered for those wishing to get their license.
"Restricted Use Pesticide License Review and Testing, Dec. 8, 2009
A three-hour pesticide license review and testing class will be held on Tuesday,
Dec. 8, 2009 at the Hardee County Extension Service Office at 507 Civic Center
Drive in Wauchula. The class will review the materials contained in the tests to
obtain a private applicator pesticide license. The class will begin at 9:00 A.M. and
conclude at noon with the test being given at 1:00 P.M. Three CEUs (2 Core and
1 Private) will be offered to individuals that have a current pesticide license and
will be renewing using CEUs. A registration fee of $25.00 per person is charged
to cover the study manuals and refreshments. To attend the class for only CEUs,
the registration fee is $5.00. If you wish to attend the class to obtain CEUs or to
take the test, please call the Hardee County Extension Service Office at 863-773-
2164 to register. Pre-registration is requested prior to Dec. 2, 2009."
Multi-County Citrus Extension Agent
4509 George Boulevard Sebring, FL 33870-5867
Tele: (863) 402-6540 Fax (863) 402-6544
Email: plowboyvufl.edu *Web Site: http://highlands.ifas.ufl.edu
Highlands County Extension is a cooperating service of the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners and the
University of Florida. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity -
Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals
and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, sex, disability, sex,
sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U. S. Department of Agriculture,
Cooperative Extension Services, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Programs,
and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.
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Summary of the Proposed State Citrus Research Order
September 22, 2009
Prepared by Michael W. Sparks (FCM) and Nelson Mongiovi (FDACS)
The Florida Citrus Production Research Advisory Council (FCPRAC) has operated since 1991 under
the Florida Citrus Production Research Order. The order, subject to referendum every six years,
allows growers to tax themselves up to 1 cent per box of citrus and direct the money to research in
the form of competitive grants. The program is administered by the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). As the industry ramped up HLB research over the past
two years, FCPRAC in conjunction with the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) did an
excellent job coordinating, prioritizing and funding more than $20 million in research projects.
To defeat HLB, the Florida citrus industry must take management of research efforts to new and
higher levels of effectiveness. To accomplish this, the industry formed the Citrus Research and
Development Foundation (CRDF), a non-profit corporation affiliated with the University of Florida
and governed by a Board of 13 Directors, including 10 growers.
The goals of the Foundation are to:
Serve as "Ground Zero" for the industry's research efforts;
Protect intellectual property rights;
Negotiate commercialization issues;
Efficiently manage long-term contracts;
Coordinate submissions for state and federal research grants; and
Avoid unnecessary research duplication.
Research Order Proposal
The industry is discussing a proposal that would increase the Research Order assessment cap from
one cent to three cents (three cents would generate roughly $5.5 million annually) and channel the
funds to the newly formed Foundation. The Foundation would annually evaluate and approve
The current State Research Order is set to expire in 2010, so industry leaders believe now is a perfect
time to transition to this new structure. As required by law, growers would vote on the proposal
through an FDACS administered referendum. To pass, 65 percent of voting growers representing 51
percent of the voting production would have to vote in favor of the proposal. If approved, the industry
would then request the Legislature to make the necessary changes to Chapter 573 Florida Statutes to
codify the process.
At the request of the Foundation, FDACS has drafted preliminary language to change the Research
Order and facilitate Statute revisions:
Draft Text for the Research Order (subject to change)
FLORIDA CITRUS RESEARCH ORDER PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 573 F.S.
This order is issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services ("Department")
pursuant to the Florida Agricultural Commodities Marketing Law, sections 573.101 573.124 Florida
This order is designed to provide adequate funding of Florida citrus research and related activities not
currently being funded at levels that insure maximum grower profits. This would include, but not be
limited to, research, commercialization of research findings, and negotiations of intellectual properties.
In construing this order, "citrus fruit" shall be defined as in s. 601.03(7) F.S.
The Department shall administer and enforce the provisions of this order in a manner so as to
effectuate the declared purposes. Such administration shall be upon the recommendation of the
Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc. ("Foundation").
A. In order to provide funds to defray the necessary expenses incurred by the Department in the
formulation, issuance, administration and enforcement of this order, there is hereby levied an
assessment upon each standard packed box of citrus fruit as defined in s. 601.03(33) F.S. or
equivalent, grown and placed into the primary channel of trade in the state of Florida. This
assessment shall be fixed by the Department upon the recommendation of the Foundation by
August 1 of each year, and that rate shall apply for the entire marketing period commencing
August 1 and ending July 31 of the following year. In no case shall the assessment rate exceed 3
cents per box. The assessment can be suspended from season to season when the Department,
upon recommendation of the Foundation, determines that additional monies are not necessary. The
Department shall also reduce the assessment if a Federal citrus research order is implemented, and
distributed in Florida through the Foundation. Such reduction will equal the per box Federal
research order assessment, up to the total amount levied by the State under this order.
B. The assessment shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as citrus inspection
fees imposed by s. 601.28 F.S. All revenues from such assessment collected by the Department
shall be deposited in the Citrus Inspection Trust Fund and accounted for separately.
V. ADMINISTRATIVE RULES:
Upon recommendation of the Foundation, the Department may adopt rules to facilitate the
administration and enforcement of this order.
VI. REFERENDUM; AMENDMENTS AND TERMINATION:
The continuance of this order shall be subject to approval by referendum every six years. Also, this
order, its termination, suspension and any amendments thereto shall be subject to the producer
referendum and notice requirements of Chapter 573. The "marketing period" shall be deemed to run
from year to year, commencing August 1 of each year and ending July 31 of the following year. Upon
termination of the order, any funds remaining shall revert to the Department for general use in the area
VII. CERTIFICATES OF EXEMPTION:
No certificates of exemption as provided in s. 573.1201 will be issued to producers or handlers under
VIII. EFFECTIVE DATE:
If the Department finds this order to have been approved by producer referendum as provided by law,
this order shall become effective August 1, 2010.
Question and Answer on proposed State Research Order
What entities are supporting the proposed State Research Order?
The Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), the Florida Citrus Production Research
Advisory Committee (FCPRAC) and Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM).
What are the main differences growers can expect to see in the proposed State Research Order?
The proposed State Research Order is still the "research voice" of Florida's citrus growers just as
before. However, the 16 year success of the FCPRAC, together with the urgency of HLB and
increased research funding, required an evolution to a stronger, more independent Foundation.
The industry will determine the policy of the Foundation and research order; FDACS will facilitate
research by transferring funds to the Foundation. In drafting the statutory changes, FDACS listened
to recommendations from the Foundation: Here are some high points:
The Foundation becomes the guiding voice for citrus research in Florida;
Funding flows to the Foundation via FDACS;
The definition of research is broadened from "production only"; and
The research assessment goes from a 1 cent cap to a 3 cents cap.
Isn't this just another incremental tax on the grower?
FCM encouraged the Florida Citrus Commission to reduce advertising assessments by an amount
equal to any research increases; so the new Order is 'tax neutral' to growers. The last thing the
industry wants is to increase grower taxes. The Commission responded to Mutual's request by
passing a resolution on September 16, 2009 that expressed "the Commission's understanding of the
need for tax neutrality as it relates to the research box tax, as all members of the FCC are growers and
taxpayers." Therefore, FCM expects the Commission to reduce the advertising tax by an amount
equal to any increase in the research assessment.
Will I automatically be assessed three centsfor research if the referendum passes?
No. The three cents figure represents a cap. The actual assessment (between 0 and three cents) will be
determined annually by the Foundation, based on the industry's research needs.
What about the Federal Research Order I've heard about?
The new State Research Order is designed to "bridge the gap" until a Federal Research Order on all
domestic and imported citrus products can be put in place. The state research assessment ultimately
becomes "tax neutral" if a Federal Research Order is created; meaning growers won't be taxed twice.
The current draft actually mandates a proportional reduction in the State assessment if a Federal
Research Order is implemented.
What about research "free riders"?
The proposed State Research Order does not resolve issues with "free riders". However, Florida
Citrus Mutual is exploring a full "equalization research tax" with the State Legislature that would
assess a research tax on imported foreign juice and help reduce "free riders". The equalization tax
would remain until a Federal Research Order that levies a research assessment on all imported citrus
products is put in place.
Are there any other big changes?
The new State Research Order has been streamlined from over four pages to less than two. It
eliminates duplication that growers have criticized in the past.
Will the new Research Order require changes in Florida Law?
Yes. The current one cent cap is actually mandated in Chapter 573 Florida Statutes. If growers want
to increase or decrease the current assessment, some existing Laws must be revised. The Law also
needs to establish the Foundation as the official Research Order Advisory Council for FDACS.
So changing the Law has an effect on when the Research Order can be adopted?
Yes. Whatever growers decide to do, it should be seamless and without funding interruptions on
critical research projects. If growers can agree on the specific language they want, FDACS will assist
in the law-making process. However, growers must agree on specific language before the 2010
Do you see any potential problems?
Yes. The worst things that could occur are inaction, or for the referendum to fail. If growers can't
collectively agree, their existing research order will expire and there will be no assessment and
research will cease; nobody wants that with serious diseases threatening our industry. It is essential
that our various industry organizations educate growers and move expeditiously.
What is Mutual advising growers to do?
Vote "yes" on the referendum.
What's the next step?
Growers should study the proposed changes and speak out. The various grower associations are great
vehicles for communication. Mutual plans to spend the next few months educating growers via The
Triangle, electronic communications and face-to-face meetings. FDACS will be using CHRP
compliance agreements and association lists for its mailing list, so all growers should get on an
association's membership list. If you need a ballot contact Marshall Wiseheart of FDACS at (850)
Sept 23 Announce Hearing
Oct 13th Hearing
Oct 13-19 Comment Period
Oct 21 Legal Notice (FAW) for Oct 30 printing w/ final wording
Oct 30 Announce Referendum including dates ballot to be mailed and returned.
Nov 16 Mail Ballots
Dec 4 Ballots must be postmarked and mailed to FDACS
Dec 15 Announce Results
Dec 15-July Legislative Work
July 24 or sooner Post and announce effective date of August 1
August 1 Effective Date