Ethanol May Replace Citrus As Florida Cash Crop

Cindy Zimmerman

I have been a farm reporter all of my professional broadcasting career, half of that time in Florida and half in the midwest. For the past four years I have been reporting farm news for Florida FROM the Midwest – thanks to the magic of the internet and computers – on the Southeast Agnet radio network. One of the stories I did today was about a meeting that Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson will be holding Thursday afternoon on the state’s potential to create bio-fuels from farm crops. Part of the reason for the meeting is the fact that, in the wake of five major hurricanes hitting the citrus belt in the last two years, the state has decided it is no longer feasible to eradicate citrus canker. The disease is harmless to humans, but causes blemishes on fruit and production declines – which will likely lead to an end to the fresh citrus business in Florida. While most of Florida’s citrus is made into juice, there is a significant amount of fresh fruit grown – and there’s just no market for ugly citrus. SOOOO – there’s alot of talk now about converting those citrus groves into energy crops, and some domestic fuel companies are already jumping on the bandwagon (see previous post).
Here is a link to my Southeast Agnet report with Commissioner Bronson, and stay tuned for more about the industry developing in the Sunshine State.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, Production