LAKELAND -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture said its estimate of the 2012-2013 Florida citrus crop has decreased more than 5 percent to 146 million boxes.
The majority of the decrease will occur in early-mid varieties which declined 7 million boxes to 67 million from the USDA's initial October estimate. Valencias decreased 1 million boxes to 79 million boxes.
The USDA makes its first estimate in October of each year and revises it monthly as the crop takes shape until the end of the season in July.
"This decrease was not entirely unexpected as we have been hearing reports of severe fruit drop throughout the state," said Michael W. Sparks, executive vice president/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. "The dry weather coupled with intense disease pressure growers are facing is most likely causing the drop.
"I anticipate the decrease in crop size will continue to put upward pressure on fruit pricing."
Country Club offers new membership category
BRADENTON -- Bradenton Country Club is offering a new membership category for people under the age of forty. This membership is offered at half the normal initiation fee and with lower dues.
"We really want to capture the attention of the young professionals in our area and let them know private club membership is affordable and a good way to make connections in the community," said club General Manager Jim Brand.
Law firm donates computers
SARASOTA -- The law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, has donated more than 80 computers to the Sarasota County School System Texcellence program.
The program was created to ensure that every student in the Sarasota County School District has access to a computer at home.
Economic development coordinator named
SARASOTA -- Norman Gollub has been named the new economic development coordinator for downtown Sarasota.
Gollub has more than 20 years of economic development experience including business recruitment/retention, commercial corridor revitalization and real estate development. Gollub worked in urban design and development in Greensville, S.C., and Portland, Ore., and has served as a consultant to public and private clients.
Revelle Academy selected for honor
SARASOTA -- Manasota SCORE client Revelle Academy was one of 102 small businesses selected to receive a $1,000 gift card and funding to attend a two-day SCORE "High Speed Growth Seminar" through the Sam's Club Holiday Cheer for Small Businesses program.
The award recognizes
the growth and commitment to ongoing learning demonstrated by Evelyn Squires, owner of Revelle Academy and La Pointe Dance and Fitness Wear.
Squires increased the academy's range of classes, doubled the number of students and expanded a retail component. The academy serves up to 235 students per year, offering music and dance classes in Sarasota.
CJ's Cellphones & Satellites offering HDTV/Web packages
BRADENTON -- CJ's Cellphones & Satellites is now offering several HDTV/Internet/Home Phone packages to residents of the Sarasota/Manatee region.
CJ's also has been selected to serve as the local area sales consultant for HughesNet Gen4 Satellite Internet, specifically designed for suburban and non-wired geographic location applications.
The new home entertainment bundles consist of Direct TV coupled with Verizon high speed Internet and either a Verizon or Vonage land line phone.
Commercial HDTV packages also are available.
Small business awards applications now accepted
SARASOTA -- Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards to be presented at the annual awards luncheon May 10 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.
Applications are available online at www.sarasotachamber.com.
Applicants must be members in good standing of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.
The application deadline is Feb. 1.
-- Herald staff reports