The Agricultural Marketing Service is recommending an increased assessment rate for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida.

The proposed assessment rate would be $0.02 per 4/5-bushel carton of citrus handled for the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal periods. The increase from the current rate of $0.009 is due to a smaller crop forecast after hurricane damage and committee expenses.

The committee met on June 29, 2017, and recommended maintaining the previous rate, which was set beginning in the 2013-14 fiscal year. However, after significant damage to the industry from Hurricane Irma, the committee met again in November to discuss a revised crop estimate for 2017-28. The revised estimate was 2.6 million cartons less than the original estimate. The committee voted to increase the assessment rate to meet budgeted expenses without having to draw from reserves.