Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has announced that a referendum for citrus growers will be held this month to determine whether the Citrus Production Marketing Order will be renewed for another six years.

Implemented following a similar referendum in November 1991 and renewed in 1997 and 2004, the marketing order generates funds for citrus research through an assessment on each box of fruit produced.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will mail ballots on Nov. 16 to those who produce and market citrus. The ballots must be returned to the Department no later than Dec. 9, 2009.

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

Under Chapter 573, Florida Statutes, the referendum must win approval by a majority of the growers voting — who also represent a majority of the acreage of those voting — for the marketing order to be renewed.

For information about the referendum, call (850) 488-4131. To download sample citrus referendum documents, visit http://www.florida-agriculture.com/news/10-30-09.htm.