Florida citrus growers will soon be voting on renewing a state marketing order that funds research.


On Nov. 16, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Tallahassee, plans to mail ballots to citrus growers and marketers to decide if the Citrus Production Marketing Order should continue for another six years.


The ballot has some industry-requested changes, which includes raising the assessment cap from 1 cent to 3 cents per equivalent box of citrus sold and designates the Florida Citrus Research and Development Foundation Inc., Lake Alfred, to administer the funds.


Started on in November 1991 and renewed by referendum in 1997 and 2004, the marketing order generates funds for citrus research through a per-box assessment, according to a news release.


"I urge all Florida citrus growers who are eligible to cast ballots to carefully consider this marketing order and to participate in the referendum," Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said in the release. "This has important implications for the future of the citrus industry."


A sample of the ballot can be found at http://www.florida-agriculture.com/news/10-30-09.htm


The ballots are due Dec. 9.