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  • Avocados
  • Florida avocado growers eyeing another favorable season
    • Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2014. By Doug Ohlemeier, The Packer

      Florida avocado growers eyeing another favorable season.
      If forecasts hold, Florida grower-shippers are poised for another strong season of avocado shipments.Following consecutive favorable seasons, grower-shippers say this year's crop looks to be one of the best in recent years.More>>

  • Florida's sales of green-skinned keeps increasing
    • Date: Thursday, August 15, 2013. By Jim Offner, The Packer

      Florida's sales of green-skinned keeps increasing .
      There's more to the U.S. avocado market than the hass. Although the hass comprises about 95% of the avocado market, according to industry estimates, Florida grows green-skin avocados, sales of which have been growing as have hass sales.More>>

  • Florida avocado growers hope for longer season
    • Date: Thursday, May 24, 2012. By Melissa Shipman, The Packer

      Florida avocado growers hope for longer season.
      It's too early to tell exactly how this year's Florida avocado crop will fare, especially after the discovery of laurel wilt disease in a commercial grove north of Homestead in early May. However, growers are optimistic about the season."There will likely be a noticeable reduction of last year's crop, maybe 10% to 15% less, but it's still early," said Bill Schaefer, vice president of marketing for Fresh King Inc., Homestead, Fla.More>>

  • Fastmoving fungus threatens South Florida avocado trees
    • Date: Monday, August 3, 2009. By Jose Pagliery, The Miami Herald

      South Florida avocado trees are in danger from attack by fastmoving
      fungus found in Homestead.

      The deadly disease threatens South Florida's lucrative avocado industry, which makes up an estimated 6,500 acres in Miami-Dade County, according to the state's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. More>>

  • Beetle could wipe out avocado crop, growers warn
    • Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2008. By Chuck Rabin, The Miami Herald

      County leaders work to prevent infestation.
      Miami-Dade agricultural leaders tried a little preventative medicine Tuesday, warning commissioners of the dangers of the fungus carried by the beetle no bigger than Abe Lincoln's nose on the copper penny, and saying it could wipe out the crop entirely. More>>

  • Pass the guacamole
    • Date: Saturday, October 15, 2005. By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times

      With barriers lifted, Mexican avocado growers enjoy boom times as they export their fruit to meet the demands of the U.S. market.
      What's driving growth in avocado exports is the elimination of trade barriers and sanitary bans that for most of the last century kept the U.S. market off limits to Mexican fruit. The boost also is due to the surprisingly strong growth in U.S. consumption. More>>

  • All states to import Mexican avocados
    • Date: Friday, December 3, 2004. By Jurry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times Sevice

      The United States will allow imports of Mexican avocados to all 50 states, a development that could erode growers' profits in Florida and California 
      The arrival of the Mexican fruit in California, scheduled to begin in 2007, could reduce prices for consumers.  The new avocados also could damage a $40 million industry in South Miami-Dade County, where farmers grow a lower fat and larger variety of the fruit.  More>>

  • Bananas
  • WTO rules for US against EU on bananas
    • Date: Friday, February 8, 2008. By Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press

      The confidential decision - distributed earlier this week to the parties and confirmed by trade officials - is an important development in a decade-old WTO dispute pitting Latin American countries and the United States against the EU.
      The WTO has consistently ruled against how Brussels sets tariffs for bananas, forcing it to overhaul a system that grants preferential conditions for producers from African and Caribbean countries, mainly former British and French colonies. More>>

  • Banana Emergency Strikes Costa Rica
    • Date: Friday, December 12, 2013. By JOANNNA M. FOSTER, climate progress

      Banana Emergency Strikes Costa Rica.
      A "banana emergency" sounds almost comic, but it's anything but funny when bananas are your staple food source and income, and the emergency is an insect infestation that threatens to destroy that all-important crop.That's exactly the situation in Costa Rica, where on Tuesday, officials from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry's State Phytosanitary Services, (SFE) issued a statement declaring a national crop emergency for bananas.More>>

  • Banana's Genes Unpeeled
    • Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012. By EMILY SOHN, News Discovery

      Banana's Genes Unpeeled.
      Bananas are a staple food around the world. But the humble yellow fruit faces pests and diseases that threaten to wipe it out across the globe, from convenience stores in Iowa to rural markets in Uganda.In an effort to save bananas from imminent demise, scientists have now sequenced the banana genome for the first time, a challenging feat and a major advance in the field.More>>

  • EU's banana tariffs to be investigated
    • Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007. By Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press

      The World Trade Organization launched an inquiry into the European Union's banana tariffs.
      Ecuador asked the global trade body to establish a compliance panel, claiming that Brussels has failed to comply with WTO rulings. The EU blocked Ecuador's initial request two weeks ago, but could not delay the investigation a second time under WTO rules. More>>

  • EU plans bigger cutback in banana tariff dispute
    • Date: Friday, November 18, 2005. By Duncan Hooper and Warren Giles, Bloomberg News

      The European Union plans a bigger cut in banana duties to end a long running trade battle with the U.S. and Latin American nations.
      The European Union, seeking to end a nine-year dispute with the U.S. and Latin American nations over the level of banana import tariffs, scaled back its proposed duty by 4.3 percent, two people who have seen the proposal said. More>>

  • WTO rules against EU on banana importation
    • Date: Friday, October 28, 2005. By Raphael Minder, Financial Times

      The World Trade Organization has again ruled against the European Union concerning access to Latin American banana markets.
      The European Union's plans to overhaul its import rules for bananas will not grant enough access to Latin American producers of the fruit, according to a final ruling by the World Trade Organization. The banana row has threatened to undermine the EU's broader trade relationship with several developing countries. More>>

  • Banana battle heads to court
    • Date: Thursday, September 1, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Produce buyers and consumers have filed a bunch of class-action lawsuits in Miami, alleging banana price fixing by big multinationals such as Chiquita, Dole and Fresh Del Monte.
      Suspicions of banana price fixing in Europe have touched off a rash of U.S. class-action suits against the biggest names in bananas -- Chiquita, Dole and Del Monte -- alleging the corporations conspired to hike the price of the world's most popular fruit. More>>

  • EU banana tariff is ruled illegal
    • Date:Tuesday, August 2, 2005. By Sam Cage, The Miami Herald

      Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the World Trade Organization square off on banana tariffs.
      A WTO arbitration body backed a claim by the Latin American countries -- including Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela -- who said the proposed EU tariff of 230 euros or $279 per metric ton next year would have a ''devastating effect'' on the development of their economies. More>>

  • Facing foreign opposition, EU defends banana tariff
    • Date: Friday, April 1, 2005. By Bloomberg News

      The WTO will decide by September whether the proposed tariff will reduce Latin America's market share.
      The European Union defended its planned changes to banana tariffs, saying they're consistent with international trade rules and won't curb Latin American countries' access to the EU market. More>>

  • Banana tariff causes worry
    • Date: Friday, February 04, 2005. By Sam Cage, The Miami Herald

      Six Latin American countries would take their case against the proposed EU tariffs on imported bananas to the WTO, alleging the move could unbalance their economies.
      A new EU tariff on imported bananas would ''severely unbalance'' the economies of six Latin American states, who will seek to have the decision overturned at the World Trade Organization, representatives of the countries said Thursday. More>>

  • EU weighs tariffs on WTO's scales
    • Date: Tuesday, February 01, 2005. By The Miami Herald

      In order to comply with WTO rules the EU must revamp its tariff laws for bananas. The plan the EU formally proposes will raise tariffs for Latin American banana growers and lower taxes for other regions.
      The European Union on Monday formally proposed an overhaul of its banana import program at the World Trade Organization with a tariff that has been criticized by exporters from Latin America and their competitors in Africa and the Caribbean.  More>>

  • Citrus
  • A win for homeowners in citrus canker lawsuit
    • Date: Friday, February 22, 2008. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      A jury will decide in April how much compensation the state should give 72,000 Broward residents whose citrus trees it felled, a judge ruled.
      Broward Circuit Judge Ronald Rothschild rejected the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' insistence that the trees were a valueless public nuisance because they had been exposed to citrus canker and might spread the disease. More>>

  • Cold snap squeezed Fla. orange harvest
    • Date: Friday, February 8, 2008. By Ron Day, Bloomberg News

      Florida's orange harvest, the world's second largest, will be 1.2 percent smaller than forecast after an early January cold snap damaged some fruit.
      Growers will harvest 166 million boxes of oranges this season, down from a previous estimate of 168 million, the USDA said. However, a crop of that size would be 29 percent bigger than a year ago as trees recover from hurricane damage. More>>

  • Greening sours Florida's citrus growers
    • Date: Thursday, January 24, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Florida's days of boom crops of citrus may be in the past, at least until the industry overcomes one its worst challenges so far: citrus greening.
      Unlike the decade-long citrus eradication program where every tree the state cut down was recorded, nobody is tracking, statewide, how many greening-infected trees have been cut down and burned. More>>

  • Shipping of Florida citrus trees banned
    • Date: Friday, January 11, 2007. By Associated Press

      The action on citrus greening is another blow to Florida's citrus industry.
      The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday extended a quarantine zone to prevent the spread of a major citrus disease, preventing the shipment of all Florida citrus trees outside the state. More>>

  • Ruling could limit Calif. fruit in Florida
    • Date: Thursday, December 20, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      California citrus interests lost their first round in a bid to overturn new rules on fresh citrus shipped to Florida.
      A Tallahassee circuit court judge Wednesday refused to give California growers and shippers a temporary injunction against enforcing new Florida regulations on fresh citrus fruit coming from the Golden State. More>>

  • Florida, California fight over citrus exports
    • Date: Friday, December 14, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Florida and California are locked in a legal battle that could slow shipments of fresh California citrus to the Sunshine State.
      Florida has begun restricting imports of California fresh citrus, saying that without new inspections and treatment prescribed by Florida agricultural officials, California citrus peel could carry a fungus that might spread to Florida citrus trees, causing less fresh fruit to be suitable for shipping. More>>

  • Citrus fruit shipping standards eased
    • Date: Saturday, November 17, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Florida's citrus growers got a break Friday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved new citrus canker inspection rules.
      The ruling, which shifts the burden of canker inspection from the grove to more intense inspection at the packinghouse, has multimillion-dollar implications for Florida growers and came despite opposition from another major citrus producing state: California. More>>

  • Florida citrus industry faces new peril
    • Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007. By Phil Long and Martin Merzer, The Miami Herald

      One of Florida's original industries -- ''Come to the Florida Sunshine Tree'' -- is shrinking.
      On this day alone, in this single grove, 300 trees will be clipped and burned. It's like this every day now for the citrus industry, under attack by a new threat called greening. More>>

  • Homeowners seek canker compensation in lawsuit
    • Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      The first citrus canker civil case in South Florida is under way as residents battle to get more money for trees lost during the controversial canker eradication program.
      More than 865,000 residential trees were destroyed statewide -- most in South Florida -- during an unsuccessful 10-year effort to stop the spread of the disease. More>>

  • Growers try to mount defense against tree-killing disease
    • Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Scientists and growers are looking for new ways to protect citrus from the latest natural threat -- greening.
      Hurricanes wiped out a quarter of his 100 acres of groves in 2004, and the citrus canker eradication program felled 50 more acres, but Pete Spyke is mounting a cutting-edge comeback in a small experimental grove called ''Rock Bottom.'' More>>

  • The battle to protect the industry
    • Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007. By Martin Merzer and Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Farmers just have a way of, you know, when they really get down and roll up their sleeves and really get into the battle, they'll find a way to do it.
      Jim Snively is vice president of groves for Southern Gardens Citrus, one of the state's largest growers, and he runs his own grove near the town of Venus, west of Lake Okeechobee in Highlands County. More>>

  • Trade Commission affirms citrus-dumping decision
    • Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007. By Kevin Bouffard, The Lakeland Ledger

      The U.S. International Trade Commission reaffirmed a March 2006 ruling that Brazilian orange juice producers had sold the product below market prices, harming Florida growers.
      Florida citrus growers won another round in their nearly 2-year-old battle with their Brazilian competitors over dumping orange juice into U.S. markets. The U.S. International Trade Commission for the second time has reaffirmed its March 2006 decision that the top five Brazilian citrus processors dumped orange juice in the U.S. earlier this decade. More>>

  • Florida and California citrus growers face off
    • Date: Friday, September 14, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Citrus farmers have everything on the line as the USDA considers changing shipping rules to allow clean fruit from an infected grove.
      The proposed rule change includes dropping a requirement to conduct pre-harvest grove inspections. Such inspections have previously disqualified fruit from fresh shipment in cases where inspectors found even a small outbreak of canker anywhere in the grove to be picked. More>>

  • Florida orange harvests look bleak with greening
    • Date: Sunday, September 9, 2007. By Travis Reed, Associated Press

      Dozens of dead orange trees lay stacked here among vast green rows of grove.
      All it took was a tiny insect's bite to deliver a fatal crop disease called citrus greening, a bacteria harmless to humans but deadly for the thousands of trees infected since its recent arrival in Florida. More>>

  • Citrus disease greening advances further in Florida
    • Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2007. By Associated Press

      A disease that kills trees and ruins fruit has moved into another of Florida's top citrus-producing counties.
      The discovery in Hardee County means citrus greening is now affecting trees in four of the top five production areas from last season. Those areas accounted for 60 percent of Florida citrus in 2005-06. More>>

  • More citrus growers are going organic
    • Date: Monday, March 26, 2007. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Citrus growers are seeing an increased demand for organic orange juice.
      Organic orange juice is made from fruit that is grown without synthetic chemicals of any kind. Most conventional groves use pesticides and fertilizers, and their trees stand in well-manicured, orderly rows. More>>

  • Florida's orange crop expected to drop even lower this year
    • Date: Friday, March 9, 2007. By Jim Ellis, Associated Press

      Florida's orange crop is expected to drop about 11 percent more than last year's already-low figures, as growers slowly recover from hurricanes, citrus disease and a freeze.
      Orange production is expected to fall 18 percent nationwide this year due to Florida's problems and a devastating California freeze, which could cause already-high juice prices to climb more. More>>

  • Florida orange crop shrinks
    • Date: Friday, March 9, 2007. By Shruti Date Singh, Bloomberg News

      Florida's orange crop will be 5.7 percent smaller than forecast last month, lower than analysts' estimates.
      Growers in Florida will produce 132 million boxes of oranges in the season that ends in June, down from 140 million expected last month and 147.9 million boxes harvested last year. A crop of that size would be the smallest in 17 years. More>>

  • Smaller Florida orange crop predicted
    • Date: Thursday, March 8, 2007. By Shruti Date Singh, Bloomberg News

      Five of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will lower last month's forecast of 140 million boxes.
      The average prediction was for just under 136 million boxes, down from 147.9 million boxes last season. Most cited a smaller-than-expected crop of early- and mid-season oranges. More>>

  • Hybrids could revolutionize state's citrus industry
    • Date: Monday, February 5, 2007. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Hybrid citrus varieties under development could reduce the impact of citrus canker and other diseases while enhancing the tastes of citrus grown in Florida.
      Both UF and the USDA could release as many as a dozen new varieties, such as a seedless Valencia orange and a seedless Fallglo tangerine, in the next year or two. That will signal a big change because Florida has not had a new citrus-fruit variety introduced to its groves since 1989, when the amber sweet orange debuted. More>>

  • California freeze raises citrus prices
    • Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2007. By Olivia Munoz, Associated Press

      California's citrus crop has been devastated by recent freezes.
      Nearly every winter crop is affected by the freeze, from avocados to strawberries to fresh-cut flowers, but it's the state's citrus crop that stands to take the biggest economic hit. California is the nation's No. 1 producer of fresh citrus, growing about 86 percent of lemons and 21 percent of oranges sold in the United States. Florida produces more oranges, but those are mostly processed for orange juice. More>>

  • Tropicana, Dole OJ prices to rise on Florida citrus shortage
    • Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2006. By Travis Reed, Associated Press

      With hurricanes, drought and disease leading to the worst Florida citrus crop in more than a decade, PepsiCo will boost prices on orange juice by 4 percent to 8 percent.
      After two nasty hurricane seasons compounded by drought and crop disease, Florida's harvest has dropped off significantly. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted 135 million boxes of oranges would be picked in the 2006-07 season, down from an already-low 148 million boxes last year. More>>

  • Small orange crop likely means pricier juice
    • Date: Friday, October 13, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      A 'hurricane hangover,' a surprise cold snap and loss of land for trees are causing Florida's orange crop to shrink. Consumers should expect to pay.
      Orange juice was $4.89 a gallon last month, compared to $4.50 a gallon a year ago. And suppliers of major brands of juice began raising wholesale prices in September. More>>

  • Florida orange crop to be smallest in almost two decades
    • Date: Thursday, October 12, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      With citrus still suffering the effects from hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, a cold snap earlier this year and a continued loss of land for trees, this year's Florida orange crop will be the smallest since the 1989-1990 season.
      Orange production is expected to be 135 million boxes this season, down 9 percent from last year's 147.9 million 90-pound boxes. More>>

  • Orange-juice futures fall as storm weakens
    • Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2006. By The Miami Herald

      Orange-juice futures fell the most in a week on speculation that winds from Tropical Storm Ernesto will not cause severe crop damage to citrus groves in Florida.
      Orange juice for November delivery fell 1.65 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $1.848 a pound on the New York Board of Trade, the biggest drop for a most-active contract since Aug. 22. More>>

  • Rules tighten for citrus-tree growers
    • Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Beginning in 2008, all Florida citrus trees will have to be grown in greenhouses. As farmers adjust to the regulation, they face new economic challenges.
      About 90 percent of the state's nurseries grow citrus seedlings and trees outdoors. But beginning in 2008, the trees -- which supply Florida's citrus growers as well as enrich homeowners' back yards -- must be grown inside, in greenhouses built to specific standards that officials believe will reduce the threat of canker and citrus greening. More>>

  • Canker ban puts squeeze on Florida tangerine growers
    • Date: Sunday, August 20, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      The effects of citrus canker can menace tangerine growers, even when the disease is far from their trees, growers in this small segment of the citrus industry are learning.
      As a result of killing the eradication program, the USDA banned shipments of fresh fruit from Florida to the other citrus-growing states in an effort to make sure any infected fruit didn't affect trees in those states. More>>

  • Experts predict smaller orange crop
    • Date: Thursday, July 13, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Agriculture officials say the 2005-2006 citrus crop will be one of the worst crops because of last year's hurricanes.
      n its final forecast for the season, the National Agricultural Statistics Services placed the orange crop at 151 million 90-pound boxes, up from 149.8 million a year ago. The count was lowered because labor shortages are making it difficult to get late-season Valencia oranges picked. More>>

  • Shortage of citrus pickers looms
    • Date: Monday, July 10, 2006. By Associated Press

      A shortage of workers to pick the fruit is expected to leave millions of boxes of oranges unharvested, industry executives have predicted.
      Industry officials say labor supply was tight from the beginning of the season in October but grew worse by the middle of May when a large segment of the Hispanic labor force seemed to leave the state. More>>

  • Florida grapefruits are still exportable
    • Date: Thursday, July 6, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Officials with the European Union said they have no plans to ban Florida citrus shipments and will continue to accept fruit from groves certified free of citrus canker.
      Californians won't be able to purchase Indian River grapefruit in their supermarkets this coming season, but consumers in Florida's biggest fresh citrus markets -- including Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands and France -- will be slicing the fruit as usual. More>>

  • Citrus nurseries lament shortfall in compensation
    • Date: Monday, June 19, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Citrus nurseries argue they will not be able to stay afloat with the current compensation offered to them for canker eradication.
      The $100 million citrus canker compensation funding is the first to include nursery growers and will bring the total compensation for Florida's citrus industry to $536 million. More>>

  • Gov. Bush calls citrus shipping ban 'overkill'
    • Date: Thursday, June 8, 2006. By David Royse, Associated Press

      Gov. Jeb Bush said a federal ban on shipping Florida citrus to other citrus-producing states goes too far. He said the state will appeal the decision.
      The agency issued an interim rule that prevents Florida fruit from being shipped to 11 states and territories: Alabama, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Northern Mariana Island, Puerto Rico, Texas and the Virgin Islands. More>>

  • Canker blocks citrus shipments
    • Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Fearing the spread of canker, the USDA is banning the shipment of fresh Florida citrus to other citrus-producing states.
      This is what citrus growers feared when canker spread out of South Florida due to hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The storms blew the bacterial disease into the heart of the orange- and grapefruit-growing regions of Central Florida. More>>

  • Creating fuel from oranges
    • Date: Thursday, June 1, 2006. By William R. Levesque, St. Petersburg Times

      Scientists are researching how profitable and technologically feasible it is to extract ethanol from orange peels.
      Bill Widmer, a chemist at the USDA Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, said the citrus industry could produce up to 55 million gallons of ethanol annually based on current citrus production figures. More>>

  • Proposed taxes may help national citrus ad campaign
    • Date: Thursday, May 18, 2006. By Travis Reed, Associated Press

      Higher per-box taxes for Florida's citrus have been proposed help fund an extensive national ad campaign touting the benefits of orange and grapefruit juice.
      The per-box tax on processed orange juice would increase from 18.5 cents to 25 cents, with fresh grapefruit going from 25 cents to 40 cents and processed grapefruit jumping from 24 cents to 40 cents. More>>

  • Threat of statewide citrus quarantine
    • Date: Sunday, May 14, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Since the state's canker eradication program ended in January, a huge demand for fruit-bearing trees has created shortages throughout Florida.
      It's a phenomenon that's occurring all over the citrus zone as people begin to replant the once banned trees. When the quarantine was lifted in February, allowing the planting of citrus everywhere in the state, pent-up demand was unleashed. More>>

  • Nurseries scramble for plants as demand for citrus trees soars
    • Date: Monday, May 1, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Since the state's canker eradication program ended in January, a huge demand for fruit-bearing trees has created shortages throughout Florida.
      It's a phenomenon that's occurring all over the citrus zone as people begin to replant the once banned trees. When the quarantine was lifted in February, allowing the planting of citrus everywhere in the state, pent-up demand was unleashed. More>>

  • Audit of failed program to cut citrus canker sought
    • Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      A candidate for state agriculture commissioner and a consumer action group want the Legislature to audit the failed citrus canker eradication program.
      Over 10 years, the state and USDA spent more than $500 million on the program, plus $436 million in federal reimbursement to commercial growers who lost trees. More>>

  • Let the citrus-planting begin
    • Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      If you can find citrus trees from a nursery and want to risk planting, your wait is over.
      Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson lifted the ban Tuesday on replanting citrus trees, which were chain-sawed in the controversial canker eradication program. More>>

  • State about to lift ban on backyard citrus trees
    • Date: Friday, February 24, 2006. By Noah Bierman, Dan Christensen, and Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      State officials are expected to announce that residents can replant citrus trees, now that the federal government has abandoned eradication efforts.
      Agriculture officials, who this week lifted the ban on replanting commercial citrus in groves bulldozed during the eradication program, are likely to do the same for residential citrus. More>>

  • Citrus growers feel the squeeze
    • Date: Friday, February 17, 2006. By Georgia Tasker, The Miami Herald

      Many growers -- squeezed by an expanding list of diseases and the unremitting march of development and foreign competition -- are wondering whether they can continue growing citrus in Florida. And, if so, at what cost?
      For 50 years, Scott Hurley's family has produced oranges and grapefruit in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties. But citrus canker and a nastier disease called citrus greening, as well as hurricanes and real estate development, have Hurley wondering about the future. More>>

  • Canker workers being laid off
    • Date: Sunday, February 12, 2006. By Dan Christensen, The Miami Herald

      Soon-to-be laid off workers in the war against citrus canker in South Florida are hanging up their uniforms.
      Over the years, teams of inspectors or cutters were often unwelcome visitors at more than 200,000 residential properties, where they delivered the news that trees must be cut down. At one point, crews were dropping 5,000 trees a day. More>>

  • U.S. agency: Brazil hurts Florida growers
    • Date: Thursday, February 9, 2006. By Claudia Carpenter, Bloomberg News

      The Commerce Department last month confirmed a preliminary decision that some Brazilian orange juice producers dumped product in the United States.
      The International Trade Commission ruled Brazilian orange juice exports to the United States injured producers in Florida and other states, clearing the way for the United States to impose duties on sales by juice makers in the South American nation. More>>

  • Citrus industry felt the squeeze
    • Date: Monday, February 6, 2006. By Dan Christensen, The Miami Herald

      Before state and federal officials pulled the plug last month on its controversial war on citrus canker, Florida's $9 billion citrus industry had come to fear for its very survival.
      Florida's controversial war on citrus canker ended in defeat last month with state and federal officials pointing the finger of blame at Mother Nature. More>>

  • Researchers to seek $50 million to develop canker-resistant citrus
    • Date: Saturday, January 21, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      A University of Florida official said Friday researchers plan to ask Congress for $50 million to pursue genetic research in citrus, with an eye toward creating tree varieties that can resist canker.
      ''We think we can accelerate development of resistant varieties,'' said Jimmy Cheek, senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources at UF. ''It would be a good investment from the federal government's perspective.'' More>>

  • Eradication is dead, but goal hasn't changed
    • Date: Sunday, January 15, 2006. By The Miami Herald

      South Florida residents can be forgiven for responding with disbelief and sarcasm to the dramatic decision last week by the Florida Department of Agriculture to end the controversial canker-eradication program.
      Painful as this may be, the change is necessary and unavoidable. It represents a major adjustment in the department's 10-year battle to save Florida's $9 billion citrus industry. More>>

  • Storms spread disease too far, state concludes
    • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2006. By Phil Long, Marc Caputo, and Amy Driscoll, The Miami Herald

      With USDA funding yanked, Florida abandoned its controversial citrus canker eradication program, saying hurricanes have spread the disease too far to wipe it out without destroying the citrus industry.
      Florida's citrus canker eradication program, reviled by homeowners and defended by industry officials for 10 years, ended Wednesday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared the battle unwinnable. More>>

  • Florida growers will get methods to cope
    • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2006. By Georgia Tasker, The Miami Herald

      Commercial citrus growers in Florida will borrow techniques used elsewhere to deal with citrus canker.
      The decision by the federal and state governments to end the canker eradication program in Florida means commercial growers in the state will have to switch to techniques employed in other parts of the world to control the disease -- from using bacteria-killing sprays to building windbreaks to simply accepting the high costs of continuing to grow susceptible fruit. More>>

  • Too little, too late for treeless citrus lovers
    • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2006. By Jennifer Mooney Piedra, Diana Moskovitz, and Samuel P. Nitze, The Miami Herald

      Homeowners across South Florida who lost beloved citrus trees to the state's canker eradication program said a decision to stop cutting trees within 1,900 feet of canker outbreaks comes too late.
      News that the state has suspended much of its citrus eradication program drew a collective ''Finally!'' from South Florida residents who have long opposed it as an unlawful intrusion into their backyards. More>>

  • Tree cutting slowed as canker policy is reviewed
    • Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2006. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      With experts concerned about the effects of last hurricane season, trees marked for destruction in the state's citrus canker eradication program are getting a temporary reprieve.
      The reason for the change: Last year's hurricanes may have spread canker so widely that the disease is unstoppable. For now, the state has decided the most effective policy is to focus on infected trees and not those merely ''exposed'' by being within 1,900 feet. More>>

  • 1,900-feet canker rule under review by state
    • Date: Monday, January 9, 2006. By Associated Press

      A state law requiring the removal of trees within 1,900 feet of one infected with citrus canker is being reviewed by the Florida Department of Agriculture in the aftermath of four hurricanes.
      As the Agriculture Department tries to determine how far canker was spread by the hurricanes, growers have sought a less restrictive approach than the 1,900-foot law. They are trying to limit tree removals after already losing valuable trees to the hurricanes -- especially Katrina and Wilma. More>>

  • Did Wilma spread canker?
    • Date: Friday, December 16, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      In a new blow to citrus growers, a USDA study says that Hurricane Wilma spread citrus canker far and wide, and as a result millions more trees may need to be destroyed.
      The winds from Hurricane Wilma may have spread citrus canker so widely that it could result in the destruction of as many as 170,000 more acres of fruit trees in commercial groves. More>>

  • Land hit hard by citrus canker could be used to make ethanol
    • Date: Monday, December 12, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson would like to see citrus groves cleared in the canker eradication effort put to use for growing crops to make fuel.
      Since August 2004, the state has lost or is scheduled to lose close to 80,000 acres of commercial citrus as infected and exposed trees are removed. Citrus trees cannot be replanted on the land for at least two years. More>>

  • Storm puts squeeze on OJ drinkers
    • Date: Saturday, December 10, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Due to damage Hurricane Wilma caused to Florida's citrus crop, the price of orange juice futures in New York rose to the highest in seven years Friday.
      In its path through the state in October, Hurricane Wilma knocked 15 percent of the Florida's fruit crop off orange trees still suffering from three hurricanes of 2004. More>>

  • Millions still due in citrus removal
    • Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Homeowners who lost trees to Florida's canker-eradication program are awaiting the result of a request for an additional $17 million to clear the backlog.
      If you're one of the more than 8,000 South Florida residents owed money by the state's canker-eradication program, your fate is in the hands of the Legislature. But you'll get your money. More>>

  • Young citrus growers feel the squeeze
    • Date: Monday, December 5, 2005. By Mike Schneider, Associated Press

      When Jason Johnson graduates from college this month with a degree in citrus production, chances are he will look for jobs in landscaping rather than the state's $9 billion citrus industry.
      Urbanization, hurricanes and diseases are transforming the industry that produces Florida's signature crops, leaving behind a less promising future for the next generation of growers, production managers and citrus marketers. More>>

  • Citrus-canker fund feels the squeeze
    • Date: Sunday, December 4, 2005. By Associated Press

      Funds used to compensate residents whose citrus trees were destroyed in Florida's canker-eradication program have been depleted for months.
      The account used to buy the vouchers was depleted in June, and the money allocated for the cash payments was gone in September. A backlog of 46,000 residents awaits reimbursement. More>>

  • Canker worries spread
    • Date: Saturday, November 26, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Worried that Hurricane Wilma may have spread citrus canker to the point of no return, experts are pouring over storm data, hoping it will show them where to look first for the next canker outbreak.
      Canker, harmless to humans, blemishes fruit and weakens the tree, eventually reducing production, citrus experts say. It's a threat to the state's $9 billion commercial citrus industry. One of the main ways it spreads is by wind-driven rain, so hurricanes can wreak havoc. More>>

  • Grapefruit was looking up, until Wilma brought it down
    • Date: Monday, November 21, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Hurricane damage to this year's grapefruit crop was just as bad or worse than damage caused by storms in 2004.
      Things were looking better for 2005, with a crop of 24 million boxes -- roughly double that of the previous harvest -- predicted in September. But Hurricane Wilma has made this season a repeat of the last, as the storm knocked at least half of the harvest onto the ground. More>>

  • New threat arrives: 'citrus greening'
    • Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      The newest threat to the state's multibillion-dollar commercial citrus industry is a bacterial disease spread by an Asian insect that has begun to spread.
      Florida citrus growers like Nat Roberts have a lot riding on the efforts of agricultural scientists who are scrambling to find a way to fight ''citrus greening,'' a potentially crippling new threat that has shown up in the state's commercial citrus belt. More>>

  • Price of OJ to increase, forecasters say
    • Date: Thursday, October 13, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post

      Florida's citrus crop is beginning to bounce back, but continued shortages will lead to a increase in the retail price for a gallon of juice.
      The coming harvest caps a particularly difficult year for citrus. After sustaining significant damage from the storms of 2004, more than 2 million trees in St. Lucie County alone are slated to be destroyed in an attempt to stop canker's spread. More>>

  • Growers to get canker funds
    • Date: Friday, October 7, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Commercial growers slammed by citrus canker are getting $200 million in help from the USDA.
      About 230 Florida commercial citrus growers who have lost trees to the citrus canker eradication program will be eligible for $200 million in federal compensation. More>>

  • USDA aids Florida's canker fight
    • Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Florida's citrus canker eradication program for commercial groves will get more financial help from the federal government.
      There is good news for Florida citrus growers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: a pledge of almost $54 million to help fight the spread of citrus canker in commercial groves. More>>

  • Citrus crop down 42%
    • Date: Monday, October 3, 2005. By Associated Press

      Stressed by three hurricanes that tore through the state's groves last year, Florida's citrus crop ended up being worth $742.2 million, the least valuable since the 1985-1986 season.
      The 2004-2005 citrus crop of 169.1 million boxes also was down 42 percent from the 291.8 million boxes produced the previous season, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More>>

  • Money to replace canker trees runs out
    • Date: Monday, September 26, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, The Miami Herald

      The state's voucher program to replace your citrus tree is out of money.
      For residents who have been patiently waiting to receive the vouchers to buy trees to replace their uprooted orange, grapefruit or lime trees, the situation is frustrating. More>>

  • Canker uproots trees -- and growers' lives
    • Date: Tuesday, September 13, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Many growers are wondering if they will get reimbursed by the USDA for fruit trees they are losing to the citrus canker eradication program.
      Canker is harmless to humans but blemishes fruit and weakens the tree. The only way to get rid of it is to destroy every infected tree; the law also requires that every citrus tree within 1,900 feet of an infected tree be destroyed. More>>

  • Officials scramble to erase canker
    • Date: Thursday, September 8, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post

      Florida's citrus industry may be saved from the destruction of citrus canker as long as no more hurricanes hit, but a bigger danger may be looming.
      The recent discovery in Miami-Dade County of an even deadlier plague -- citrus greening, also known as yellow dragon disease -- has officials scrambling to find a plan to combat it. More>>

  • New citrus disease may threaten Florida groves
    • Date: Saturday, September 3, 2005. By Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

      A bacterial disease that has damaged groves in Asia, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa has been found in Homestead, and may pose a threat to Florida's $9 billion citrus industry.
      The U.S. Agriculture Department confirmed Friday the first U.S. detection of a plant illness known as citrus greening from samples collected from two trees in Homestead. More>>

  • Florida citrus reaps juicy tariffs
    • Date: Thursday, August 18, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Round two of the citrus wars finds Florida's industry prevailing over Brazilian competitors in a complaint over exporting orange juice at unfairly low prices.
      The Florida citrus industry scored a preliminary success in its battle with Brazilian competitors Wednesday when the U.S. Commerce Department slapped punitive import duties as high as 60 percent on Brazilian orange juice imports. More>>

  • Florida Citrus Mutual stands behind CAFTA
    • Date: Thursday, June 2, 2005. By The Miami Herald

      Florida's largest citrus grower organization announced its endorsement of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
      The citrus industry's support for CAFTA-DR will also strengthen our alliance with citrus-producing nations in Central America which share our interest in maintaining a fair playing field. More>>

  • Grapefruit reactions detailed on website
    • Date: Monday, April 25, 2005. By Susan Salibury, The Palm Beach Post

      The website at offers information on how grapefruit juice interacts with enzymes in the body affecting the way certain drugs are metabolized.
      ''Food and other nutrients can impact the effectiveness of prescription and over-the-counter drugs with clinically significant results,'' Veronika Butterweck, an assistant professor and co-director of UF's Center for Food-Drug Interaction Research and Education, said in a statement. More>>

  • Disasters, rising land values compel growers to sell groves
    • Date: Monday, March 28, 2005. By Susan Salibury, The Palm Beach Post

      For the famed Indian River grapefruit region, that moment is going to come sooner than anybody expected.
      The storms and the canker accelerate the whole question of whether the citrus industry will remain a viable economic return for South Florida farmers. More>>

  • Florida's citrus industry clears hurdle in trade fight
    • Date: Friday, March 4, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      The International Trade Commission voted to continue an investigation of the Florida citrus industry complaint against Brazilian producers for alleged exports of lowpriced citrus concentrates.
      The Florida citrus industry passed the first of four hurdles in its trade fight with Brazilian orange producers when the International Trade Commission ruled Thursday that state growers were being harmed by the alleged import of citrus concentrates at below fair market prices. More>>

  • Citrus growers gearing up for canker issues
    • Date: Monday, February 28, 2005. By Christina Hoag, The Miami Herald

      Orange and grapefruit growers have two big issues related to citrus canker, which is rapidly spreading through the state's groves.
      The Florida Supreme Court eventually upheld the 1,900-foot radius, but many in the citrus industry blame the legal battle for holding up the eradication program and allowing the disease to spread north to the large citrus groves. More>>

  • Growers seek federal help to recover canker losses
    • Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2005. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Citrus growers whose trees are being bulldozed or burned because of canker are looking for federal financial help to recoup losses.
      Slammed with two hurricanes last fall that stripped 90 percent of the fruit from many of his trees, Kevin Bynum finds the New Year has brought dreaded citrus canker and the certain bulldozing and burning of 1,400 acres of prime grapefruit northwest of Fort Pierce. More>>

  • Big-city cynics put squeeze on citrus farmers
    • Date: Sunday, February 06, 2005. By Frec Grimm, The Miami Herald

      There was a time when South Florida embraced the conspiracy theory behind canker eradication.
      The economics supporting the conspiracy were a little bizarre a $9 billion business beset with competition from groves in Brazil and Mexico decides to marshal the dark forces against Uncle Frank's gnarly old grapefruit tree. No matter. The conspiracy theory was repeated in so many public meetings and letters-to-the-editor that it became an accepted fact. Paranoia spread as fast as canker through South Florida. More>>

  • 45,000 trees must be destroyed
    • Date: Tuesday, February 01, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      State agricultural inspectors have ordered the destruction of about 45,000 citrus trees in St. Lucie County because of citrus canker, which has spread to new groves.
      Citrus canker has been discovered in two additional commercial citrus groves in northern St. Lucie County, state agriculture officials said Monday.  And in a nearby grove where canker was found last week, about 45,000 trees will have to be destroyed. More>>

  • Citrus canker spreads across state
    • Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2005. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Last year's hurricanes helped to reveal how far canker has spread in Florida 's citrus groves
      A brutal hurricane season stripped the state's citrus growers of close to 70 percent of their grapefruit and 28 percent of their oranges, based on a comparison of this year's forecast with the last three seasons. The grapefruit harvest will be the smallest harvest since the season of 1935-36.  More>>

  • Corn
  • Cattlemen pinched as corn demand rises
    • Date: Friday, June 22, 2007. By Betsy Blaney, Associated Press

      Motorists might save a few cents a gallon filling their tanks with ethanol, but they could soon be paying more for a burger and a milkshake as a result.
      Demand for corn to make ethanol is soaring and so are the prices, which have more than doubled in the past year. That's bad news for beef and dairy producers who depend on grain to feed their herds. More>>

  • Cotton acreage expected to decline
    • Date: Monday, April 9, 2007. By Becky Bohrer, Associated Press

      With corn prices up and cotton at break-even levels, the northeastern Louisiana farmer considers corn his best bet and for the first time in more than a decade will plant no cotton.
      Cotton acreage is expected to decline across the South this season as farmers, faced with high production costs and cotton from last season remaining unsold, move to corn or soybeans, crops with higher profit potential. More>>

  • Farmers plant more corn, less soybeans
    • Date: Thursday, March 1, 2007. By Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press

      To produce enough corn for food, feed, and exports, and keep up with the demand for renewable fuels, as many as 10 million additional corn acres could be needed.
      Don Elsbernd is a savvy farmer who doesn't make hasty decisions about what to plant on his 1,000 acres in northeast Iowa. But this year, the choice to grow more corn and less soybeans seemed obvious. With corn prices soaring toward $4 per bushel because of the booming ethanol industry, Elsbernd and many other farmers are ready to cash in. More>>

  • Experts say corn increase is likely, but could create challenges
    • Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2007. By Elliott Minor, Associated Press

      Georgia farmers are expected to plant about 170,000 additional acres of corn this year to help supply the ethanol plants popping up around the country and to take advantage of the best corn prices in a decade.
      Experts believe farmers will plant fewer peanuts and less cotton to accommodate the larger corn crop and they may produce more soybeans, a source of oil for another alternative fuel - biodiesel. More>>

  • Mexican farmers reap corn bonanza profits
    • Date: Saturday, February 17, 2007. By Julie Watson, Associated Press

      Mexico's corn farmers are expanding production in order to reap the benefits of prices that have soared to their highest in 10 years, thanks to the burgeoning U.S. ethanol industry.
      Corn had languished around $2.00 a bushel for years before the ethanol boom caused prices to soar, reaching $4.04 a bushel this week. Corn prices should reach new highs over the next five years. More>>

  • As corn prices rise, Mexican farmers scramble to plant more
    • Date: Monday, January 29, 2007. By Marla Dickerson, Los Angeles Times Service

      As world corn prices soar on demand from ethanol producers, mexican farmers plant more.
      How long the bonanza will last is anyone's guess. What's clear is that America's thirst for corn-based ethanol is being felt around the globe, delivering fatter profits for grain farmers but higher costs for livestock producers, food processors and consumers. More>>

  • Sugar
  • Big Sugar might argue both sides of case
    • Date: Friday, August 24, 2007. By Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald

      For the sugar industry, a threatened lawsuit is about fairness; environmentalists dismiss it as a 'looney' ploy.
      Growers, along with the South Florida Water Management District, already are appealing a federal court ruling ordering water managers to obtain federal permits for the controversial practice of pumping polluted farm runoff into Lake Okeechobee to boost water supplies. More>>

  • Sugar growers may share ethanol action
    • Date: Friday, August 17, 2007. By Frederic J. Frommer, Associated Press

      Congress is hoping that an ethanol industry with an endless appetite for corn will have a sweet tooth too.
      Under the farm bill the House passed last month, the federal government would buy surplus sugar and sell it to ethanol producers, where it would be used in a mixture with corn. The program was inserted as a hedge against a looming North American Free Trade Agreement provision, which will let Mexico export unlimited amounts of sugar to the U.S. starting next year. More>>

  • Giant sugar mill looks to sweet success
    • Date: Thursday, January 27, 2007. By Susan Salisbury, Palm Beach Post

      In an effort to keep pace with the pressures of globalization, U.S. Sugar is building the third-largest sugar mill in the world.
      The mill is U.S. Sugar's answer to the globalization that is washing over the sugar industry, like most other industries. To stay in business in the face of more sugar imports, the company wants to compete with low-cost producers such as India, Brazil and Thailand, the last two home to the world's largest sugar mills. More>>

  • Brazil's sugar cane output grows with demand
    • Date: Thursday, November 2, 2006. By Carlos Caminada and Carla Simoes, Bloomberg News

      Brazil boosts its sugar cane acreage and plans to export more ethanol to meet the growing global demand for biofuels.
      Brazil, the world's largest ethanol exporter, will expand sugar cane acreage and output by about half over the next six years as demand for biofuel grows, supported by made higher oil prices, an industry leader said. More>>

  • This year's sugar cane harvest to be better than last year's
    • Date: Monday, October 16, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting Florida's sugar production to come in at 1.73 million tons, up from 1.36 million tons last season.
      Florida produces more sugar from cane than any other state, and in a normal year, supplies 25 percent of the nation's sugar. Most of the industry's 400,000 acres lie in Palm Beach County, with some in Martin, Glades and Hendry. More>>

  • UF study may clear sugar harvest haze
    • Date: Monday, September 25, 2006. By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy News Service

      Florida sugar cane growers experiment with harvest methods that don't involve burning their fields.
      Harvesting sugar cane without burning -- known as green cane production -- is gaining favor as development nears cane-growing areas and complaints about the smoke begin to rise. More>>

  • Big Sugar targets organic market
    • Date: Monday, July 17, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      Florida Crystals Corp. never imagined the success of its organic sugar when it planted the first cane nine years ago.
      When Florida Crystals Corp. decided to try growing and processing sugar cane for the organic market nine years ago, even some of its top officials were skeptical. More>>

  • Billions needed to invest
    • Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2006. By Carlos Caminada and Jeb Blount, Bloomberg News

      Brazil's sugar-cane industry needs $10 billion of investment by 2012 as rising demand for ethanol leaves sugar makers short of cane and drives up the price of sugar to record highs.
      Brazil, the world's largest sugar producer, needs to build 73 new mills to convert sugar cane into ethanol and to plant an additional 2.5 million hectares of cane, an increase of almost 50 percent. More>>

  • Sugar cane production forecast cut back
    • Date: Thursday, January 5, 2006. By Katia Cortes, Bloomberg News

      A drought in northeastern Brazil forces the sugar-producing nation to cut its forecasts for the sugar cane crop year that ends in April.
      Brazil, the world's largest producer of sugar and ethanol fuel, cut its estimate for the sugar cane crop ending in April for a second time because of a drought in the country's northeast. Sugar prices jumped to a 10-year high. More>>

  • Hurricanes send sugar prices soaring
    • Date: Monday, November 14, 2005. By Rukmini Callimachi, Associated Press

      The loss of the Louisiana sugarcane and disruptions at two sugar refineries in New Orleans sent a shock through the sugar industry, which was already dealing with shortages because of hurricane-damaged crops in Florida last year.
      Since the end of August, the price of sugar has gone from 28 cents a pound to over 40 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, citing industry publications. That's compounded the pricing difficulties the sugar industry faces - the government keeps prices for sugar considerably higher in the U.S. than on the world market by limiting imports and restricting how much sugar can be sold domestically. More>>

  • Sugar industry rides the storms with new program
    • Date: Monday, October 31, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Hurricanes wreaked havoc on sugar cane fields, but consumers have gotten a break so far. Suppliers cite price stability as proof the sugar program works; big users disagree.
      The sugar industry is hailing the price stability as a sign of the effectiveness of the government's sugar program -- which allows flexibility in alloting import quotas. The program protects consumers from abrupt price hikes in sugar by smoothing out supply. More>>

  • Subsidy cuts worry Caribbean
    • Date: Thursday, September 8, 2005. By The Miami Herald

      EU subsidy cuts on sugar could wreak economic havoc in Caribbean nations where sugar makes up a significant proportion of their gross domestic product.
      European countries are planning to sharply reduce subsidies to sugar-cane growers in their former Caribbean colonies amid a ruling by the World Trade Organization that the preferences violate global trade rules. More>>

  • Tons and tons of sugar, but controversy remains
    • Date: Monday, August 1, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Brazil's ethanol industry boosts sugar production, but critics claim that the country can outsell the rest of the world due to past subsidies and other incentives.
      In Brazil, the government requires its sugar-based ethanol be used as fuel, or a fuel additive. With ethanol selling for just 72 cents a gallon at the pump, that requisite now seems fortuitous. More>>

  • Free trade with Thailand worries U.S. sugar growers
    • Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2005. By Larry Lipman, Cox News Service

      Free trade threatens to put domestic sugar growers out of business. Producers in the U.S. fear what a trade pact with Thailand would mean for their bottom line.
      America's sugar industry describes it as CAFTA on steroids. The ''it'' is a free-trade agreement being negotiated this week in Great Falls, Mont. -- estimated population 56,000 -- between the United States and Thailand, one of the world's largest sugar-exporting nations. More>>

  • Sweet Sorrow
    • Date: Saturday, June 25, 2005. By Richard Lapper, Financial Times

      The Caribbean is shocked as the EU proposed the first price cut to end their sugar regime.
      It was never going to be easy for the English-speaking Caribbean to accept dismantling of the sugar protection regime that has shielded one of its core industries from international competition for much of its long history. More>>

  • Big sugar's war on trade deal hurts U.S. consumers
    • Date: Sunday, May 22, 2005. By Andres Oppenheimer, The Miami Herald

      Behind the CAFTA countries, 21 other sugar-exporting countries are lined up, like planes on a tarmac, waiting to do their deal with the U.S.
      The United States today only imports about 10 percent of the sugar it consumes, and American consumers are paying almost twice what they would pay at world market prices. More>>

  • CAFTA is a sour deal for sugar industry
    • Date: Thursday, May 12, 2005. By Robert E. Coker and Gaston Cantens, U.S. Sugar Corp. Florida Crystals

      Florida sugar farmers already cannot sell all the sugar they can produce and have been forced to reduce their operations and lay off workers.
      We remember the promises of all the economic and social benefits for the United States and Mexico if Congress would approve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Today, no one could say with a straight face that it worked out as promised. More>>

  • CAFTA may ruin U.S. sugar
    • Date: Friday, April 29, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      A think tank warns the sugar imports under the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement could disrupt the U.S. sugar program.
      An independent think tank warned Thursday that increased sugar imports required by the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement could threaten the U.S. sugar program and turn it into a major burden on taxpayers. More>>

  • CAFTA backers lash out at sugar interests in U.S.
    • Date: Saturday, April 16, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Supporters of the Central American Free Trade Agreement lashed out at sugar interests in a Coral Gables conference to push for congressional passage of the trade pact.
      Florida is in the epicenter of the DR-CAFTA debate. Not only does the state have a large sugar industry, but South Florida plays a key role in the textile trade, serving as a major springboard for shipping textiles to Central American assembly plants and receiving finished apparel. More>>

  • U.S. sugar fighting for survival
    • Date: Monday, March 14, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Now to survive tough global competition, the country's largest sugar cane producer must slash jobs and spend millions on a new processing mill.
      The nearly 75-year-old company, which was founded by automotive pioneer Charles Stewart Mott, plans to spend more than $100 million to build a state-of-the-art processing mill that will replace 1960s-era facilities in Clewiston and the nearby Bryant mill. More>>

  • U.S. sugar growers and producers fight CAFTA
    • Date: Monday, March 14, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Sugar growers and processors are lining up against the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement because they say it will adversely impact their industry.
      CAFTA, which still must be approved by the U.S. Congress, is a trade and investment agreement that includes higher sugar import quotas for the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. More>>

  • Cosan expects sugar prices to go up
    • Date: Friday, February 25, 2005. By Michael Smith, Bloomberg News

      Sugar prices, which jumped 56 percent in 2004, may rise by another fifth to about 11 cents a pound this year.
      Grupo Cosan, the world's largest sugar producer, expects prices to rise the highest in more than four years as Brazil, the biggest producing nation, converts more cane into fuel, a company executive said. More>>

  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato squeeze: Supply down from the freeze
    • Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2010. By Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald

      Fallout from the big freeze is taking a toll as fastfood chains and stores
      struggle to get enough tomatoes on shelves.

      While grocery stores such as Publix, Winn-Dixie and Whole Foods haven't run out, counters are no longer piled high with fresh tomatoes straight from Florida fields. Instead, the supply is low, many of the tomatoes are traveling from Mexico and it's not uncommon to see bruised or overripe stock. More>>

  • No U.S. aid for tomato growers
    • Date: Thursday, October 9, 2008. By Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald

      Efforts to compensate tomato growers for damages related to the salmonella outbreak fell short in Washington.
      While Congress was busy bailing out the financial services industry, efforts to seek compensation for the tomato growers died -- at least for this year and potentially for good -- during the closing weeks of the session. Growers in Florida estimate they lost at least $60 million, and nationally that number is estimated at $140 million or more. More>>

  • Farmers, lawmakers criticize salmonella response
    • Date: Friday, August 1, 2008. By Michael Doyle and Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald

      Witnesses told Congress about the financial fallout from a food scare.
      Turf struggles, bad communication and weak leadership undermined the federal response to a recent salmonella outbreak that cost the tomato industry a bundle, witnesses told a House of Representatives subcommittee. More>>

  • Florida growers work to restore trust in tomatoes
    • Date: Saturday, June 14, 2008. By Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald

      Publix, Winn-Dixie, Burger King and others are bringing tomatoes back. Now the challenge is to restore consumer confidence.
      Tomato growers are worried by memories of the spinach industry's experience after an E. Coli outbreak in September 2006. Once spinach was restored to markets, demand for bagged spinach returned at first to about half. Today, overall spinach consumption still isn't where it was. More>>

  • Tomatoes popular, but power to boost health not definite
    • Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2007. By Chelsea Martinez, Los Angeles Times

      Even as new research identifies which growing methods produce the most lycopene-rich tomatoes, the Food and Drug Administration has said the fruit's health-boosting powers can't be proved.
      The FDA looked at 64 studies of tomatoes and cancer, and 81 studies of lycopene and cancer, and found the majority didn't make a convincing argument either way. The agency can ban a claim when there is ''no credible evidence'' published to support it or when stronger evidence contradicts those findings. More>>

  • Ugly tomatoes are sitting pretty
    • Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007. By Christina Hoag, The Miami Herald

      The Department of Agriculture will allow UglyRipe tomatoes to be exported out of Florida over the wishes of state growers.
      The move ends an ugly, three-year-ripe food fight between Plant City grower Santa Sweets and the Florida Tomato Committee, which regulates the Sunshine State's all-important winter tomato crop. More>>

  • High tomato prices will soon subside
    • Date: Saturday, January 14, 2006. By Steve Harrison, The Miami Herald

      Florida farmers -- who provide most of America's winter tomato supply -- insist this year's shortage isn't as severe as 2004.
      After 2004's record hurricane season, consumer's appetite for tomatoes vanished with the record prices. When a large crop was harvested in January, there were no buyers, as consumers were perhaps scared by prices that had more than tripled. More>>

  • Farmworkers show their muscle
    • Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005. By Mike Schneider, Associated Press

      Taco Bell joins the effort to convince the fast-food industry to push for better treatment of farmworkers.
      Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Louisville-based YUM! Brands, estimates it will pay the Florida tomato growers an extra $100,000, costs that won't be passed onto customers. More>>

  • Trade group: Tomato has good taste but no style
    • Date: Friday, January 28, 2005. By Christina Hoag and Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      In the tomato business, apparently looks matter more than taste.  So said a committee that refused to let a variety of yummy -- but ugly -- tomatoes be shipped out of Florida.
      Because the tomatoes look funny, the powerful Florida Tomato Committee deem only a rare few shapely enough to be sold beyond Florida's borders.   That doesn't sit well with tomato lovers near and far who say the rounder ones may be prettier but can sometimes taste like . . . well, cardboard.  They believe Florida's tastiest tomato is being discriminated against for a stupid reason: It is ugly.  More>>

  • Tomato growers have rotten year
    • Date: Wednesday, January 19, 2005. By Jim Wyss, The Miami Herald

      Tomatos go bad in the fields as growers struggle to turn a profit amid serious demand problems
      A tomato shortage exacerbated by Florida's hurricanes sent prices as high as $3 per pound last fall. But since Thanksgiving, Florida's fields have been flush with crops. Now it's tomato buyers who are in short supply. Growers complain supermarkets have scared away consumers by keeping prices artificially high.  More>>

  • Huge crop of Florida tomatoes remains unpicked in field
    • Date: Tuesday, January 18, 2005. By Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer

      Acres of Florida tomatoes remain unpicked while the general public still perceives a shortage, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson was told by growers during a tour of South Florida tomato farms today.
      “I was shocked to see acre upon acre of unharvested tomatoes,” Bronson said after visiting tomato farms in Homestead.  “The perception of a tomato shortage still remains in the mind of the public.  As a result, consumers aren’t buying tomatoes, retail grocers and restaurants aren’t placing orders, and our growers are facing disaster because they can’t sell their crop.”   More>>


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