Florida Citrus Harvest Over and U.S.-Kenya Trade Talks Delayed
**The 2019-20 Florida citrus season is over and, thanks mostly to the wide-ranging impacts of coronavirus, it was a season unlike any other.
Pandemic aside, deep-rooted production challenges like HLB, or citrus greening, continue to dog Florida’s citrus growers.
USDA’s tally for all oranges settled at 67.7 million boxes, 29.7 million of early to mid-season varieties plus 38 million of Valencia. That total was unchanged from last month’s estimate, but down overall from last season’s total of 72 million boxes.
**While the U.S. continues to pursue trade agreements with Kenya and the UK, negotiations have run into a pandemic delay.
The U.S. and Kenya recently began trade talks, but last week, the two countries temporarily paused talks over concerns Kenyan officials were possibly exposed to COVID.
In April, National Pork Producers Council made it clear a trade deal with Kenya has the potential for a big boost in U.S. Pork demand, but import duties and all non-tariff barriers need to be fully eliminated.
**Additional pandemic relief for farmers and ranchers would come at a critical time, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
A trillion-dollar HEALS Act introduced in the U.S. Senate last week contains $20 billion intended to benefit farms, ranches and rural communities.
The American Farm Bureau says the pandemic has brought "steep challenges" as producers react to unprecedented changes in markets and supply chains.