Citrus Referendum to Start in September

Randall Weiseman Citrus, Florida, Fruits, Specialty Crops

orange treesThe U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it will conduct a referendum on proposed amendments to the federal marketing order regulating the handling of fresh citrus produced in Florida.

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The proposed amendments submitted by the Citrus Administrative Committee, which administers the order locally, include:

* Authorize the regulation of new varieties and hybrids of citrus fruit;
* Authorize the regulation of intrastate shipments of fruit;
* Revise the process for redistricting the production area;
* Change the term of office and tenure requirements for committee members;
* Authorize mail balloting procedures for committee membership nominations;
* Increase the capacity of financial reserve funds;
* Authorize pack and container requirements for domestic shipments and authorize different regulations for different markets;
* Eliminate the use of separate acceptance statements in the nomination process; and,
* Require handlers to register with the committee.

Notice of the referendum was published in the July 21, 2015 Federal Register. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will mail ballots and voting instructions to all growers of record. Eligible growers not receiving ballots may request them from Christian Nissen, USDA, AMS, Southeast Marketing Field Office, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, Fla. 33880; telephone: (863) 324-3375; or fax: (863) 291-8614.