Hurricane Irma ‘lethal’ to Florida citrus, crop to drop by 14 million boxes

Photo credit: Benjamin D. Esham

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida’s citrus crop was delivered a damaging blow by Hurricane Irma.

The USDA is forecasting 54 million boxes of oranges for the 2017-2018 season, which is down from the 68.7 million boxes harvested last season.

“Hurricane Irma’s path could not have been more lethal to Florida citrus. I am concerned that today’s forecast does not accurately estimate the damages to our industry, given that groves are still under water and fruit is still dropping from trees. It’s important to recognize that the damage to Florida citrus is still unfolding, and will continue to for some time,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

Commissioner Putnam, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Florida’s congressional delegation traveled to Washington DC to discuss damage caused by Hurricane Irma and to request federal assistance.

RELATED: Hurricane Irma devastates Florida citrus growers, early estimates say 75 percent of crops damaged

“One thing is clear, Florida’s growers need support and they need it fast. I will continue to work with leaders in Washington to get Florida’s growers the support and relief they need to rebuild as quickly as possible. There is no group of people more stubborn or more resilient than Florida’s growers, and we will get through this together,” said Putnam.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages.

STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s