Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, Legislative Leaders Launch Hurricane Idalia Recovery Programs for Florida Farmers

Dan Cooper Agribusiness, Economy, Legislative, Specialty Crops

commissioner
Commissioner Wilton Simpson was joined by legislative and agricultural leaders for today’s announcement at the Florida Capitol
Courtesy of FDACS

The Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson and legislative leaders announced the launch of two agricultural disaster recovery programs with more than $112 million in funding to assist Florida farmers in rebuilding and recovering from Hurricane Idalia. Impacted agricultural producers can now apply for the Agriculture and Aquaculture Producers Natural Disaster Recovery Loan Program and the Silviculture Recovery Program. 

In September, Commissioner Wilton Simpson announced the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ estimate of nearly $450 million in losses and damage to Florida agriculture from Hurricane Idalia in 2023. During a special legislative session in October the Florida Legislature passed House Bill 1-C, which provided funding for and directed FDACS to launch critical recovery programs for impacted producers. 

“Florida’s agriculture industry sustained widespread damage from Hurricane Idalia, and today’s launch of the Hurricane Idalia agriculture recovery programs — the first state-funded programs of their kind – is another important step to get our impacted producers back on their feet,” said commissioner Wilton Simpson. “Florida’s farmers, ranchers, and growers work day in, day out, rain or shine, to feed our state and nation — and I am proud to stand with Florida’s leaders and once again demonstrate our steadfast support to these hardworking individuals.” 

AGRICULTURE AND AQUACULTURE PRODUCERS NATURAL DISASTER RECOVERY LOAN PROGRAM 
  • $75 million is available for low-interest or interest-free loans up to $500,000 for eligible agriculture and aquaculture producers that have experienced damage or destruction from Hurricane Idalia. 
  • Loans may be used to restore, repair, or replace essential physical property, including fences, equipment, greenhouses, and other buildings, or to remove vegetative debris. 
  • Interested producers can learn more or apply here
SILVICULTURE RECOVERY PROGRAM 
  • $37.5 million is available to assist eligible landowners through cost-share grants in declared counties damaged from Hurricane Idalia with site preparation and tree planting activities. 
  • Grants will be up to 75% of the costs for site preparation and tree planting costs with a maximum award of $250,000. 
  • Interested producers can learn more or apply here

Source: FDACS