NewsRegion Indian River County


Citrus growers continue to wait for federal relief

Posted at 4:42 PM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 16:42:12-05

For a third time, Congress did not pass a disaster spending bill that would include relief for Florida's citrus farmers.

The House passed an $81 billion diaster relief bill, but the Senate didn't even discuss the measure before recessing until the New Year.

At Premier Citrus in Indian River County, Tom Jerkins says he lost half his fruit after Hurricane Irma.

"We don't have fruit out here to run hard," said Jerkins.

For months, he's hoped for help from Congress in the form of disaster relief bill with Florida's Citrus Industry in mind.

Thursday, he thought it finally happened.

"Really encouraged when we saw it go through the House and awfully deflating when it didn't go through the Senate," said Jerkins.

Senator Bill Nelson expressed his support to get this done on Twitter.

Jerkins says the future of the industry, at least for some, may depend on this funding.

"Step number one is to get through this financial crunch we're in due to Irma. Number two is start using tolls we've invested in to rebuild the industry," said Jerkins.

The Senate is expected to take up the measure next month.