Florida’s agriculture industry makes a $108 billion economic impact. It’s received a beating over the past few years with the growing citrus greening issue and other pests.  Agriculture producers received some good news recently from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  The state department announced Florida will receive $5.4 million in federal funding through the Federal Farm Bill to help eradicate pests and control diseases.

The funding will be used to eradicate the problem and partly through prevention. The goal is to prevent the entry and early spread of the diseases and pests.  The funding will strengthen pest surveillance, detection and identification, and help mitigate these threats.

The state programs that will be funded include:

  • Giant African Land Snail mitigation
  • Detector dog inspections
  • Research and development for citrus health, including citrus canker and citrus greening
  • Protection of avocado production (reduction of laurel wilt)
  • Honeybee pest and disease surveys

We shared recently about the important issues honeybee farmers are facing now due to pest control.  Many of Florida’s citrus farmers lease part of the land to honeybee farmers. The honeybees feed off the citrus and in turn provide some of Florida’s popular honey flavors. With the pest problem, agriculture farmers are using more pest control to stave off pests. This is threatening the honeybees and the honey industry.   Funding like that received from the Federal Farm Bill will help address important issues like this.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.