TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The fight against a disease infecting Florida’s oranges would get a hefty boost from a House spending proposal.
The House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee included $17.9 million for the state’s response to citrus greening in a budget proposal Tuesday.
Of that money, $8 million would go for citrus research, said Subcommittee Chairman Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula. Another $5.75 million would be used for marketing.
Senate General Government Appropriations Chairman Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, said Tuesday his panel’s numbers may be close to that when it releases budget proposals Thursday.
Last week, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this season’s Florida orange production will be down 1 percent from an earlier forecast.
The 2014-2015 crop was already forecast to be below the 2013-14 yield.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has asked state lawmakers for $18 million to fight diseases impacting the citrus industry.
The money would also be used to grow clean citrus stock and plant new trees in areas where diseased trees have been removed.
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”