Issue Position: Agriculture
Agriculture is the second largest economic sector in the State of Florida, and a significant contributor to the economic viability and natural resources environment of the 12th Congressional District. Historically, many Florida farmers and ranchers have chosen to base their economic decisions on the marketplace.However, our agricultural producers face extreme and somewhat unique pressures as a sentinel state on the forefront in the battle against pests and disease, landmarks hurricanes, a highly competitive global market, and increasing land, water, and conservation challenges. We must also recognize the significant role that Florida's specialty crops play in the US farm economy and work to strengthen the framework to enhance the fruit, vegetable, and nursery sector's competitiveness in the world market.
* University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS): $4 million for research to improve technologies for the detection and treatment of Citrus Canker and Greening.
* University of Florida: $10 million to support the T-STAR program to stem the invasion of exotic diseases, insects and weeds into the United States.
* USDA and US Dept. of Energy: $1.2 million for continuation of genetic research into disease prevention for citrus plants.
* Florida Department of Citrus: $2 million for development and certification of abscission chemicals to enable the effective mechanical harvesting of citrus.