Florida Citrus Starting to Assess Irma Damage

Flooded citrus groves in Hardee and DeSoto counties – Adam Putnam

As Floridians continue to dig out from the damage and debris caused by Hurricane Irma, the extent of damage to agriculture is starting to be assessed.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam took an aerial tour yesterday to survey areas impacted by Hurricane Irma, including citrus groves in Central and Southwest Florida. “It’s still too early to know the full extent of the damage to Florida citrus,” said Putname. “But after touring groves on foot and by air, it’s clear that our signature crop has suffered serious and devastating losses from Hurricane Irma.”

Southeast AgNet has been talking with ag organizations and officials in both Florida and Georgia this week to find out how crops and livestock weathered the storm. For citrus, the early reports from Peace River Valley Citrus Growers, Gulf Citrus Growers Association, and Highlands County Citrus Growers all indicate widespread damage.

Audio file: Comments from Florida citrus groups on Irma