We all have been working hard to recover and rebuild from the destruction of Hurricane Irma. Statewide, the total agricultural cost of the storm has taken it’s toll, but the future looks optimistic as the crop production is suffering a substantial decrease, but the future for Florida Citrus Crops remains stable despite the set backs. With the federal approval for a disaster recovery fund, we are expecting even better things to come back from Nature’s wrath. Here is an article from our friends at Florida Citrus breaking it down in greater detail for you.
The USDA’s March report estimates Florida Orange production for 2017-18 to remain at 45 million boxes, a 35 percent decrease over last season and the lowest crop size in more than 75 years. Florida Grapefruit production remained at 4.65 million boxes, a decrease of 40 percent over last season. There was a small increase in Florida specialty fruit, which includes tangerines and tangelos.
“With the recent passing of federal disaster recovery relief and a fresh bloom on the trees, Florida’s growers can again focus on what matters most: growing the best tasting oranges and grapefruit in the world,” said Shannon Shepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus.
Hurricane Irma had a devastating impact on the Florida Citrus industry. Florida growers reported 30 to 70 percent crop loss after Hurricane Irma’s landfall on September 10, with the southwest region of the state receiving the most damage. The hurricane uprooted trees and left many groves sitting in standing water for up to three weeks, potentially damaging the root systems and impacting future seasons’ growth.
In October, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced that Florida Citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages due to Hurricane Irma.
Prior to Hurricane Irma, Florida was expected to produce about 75 million boxes of oranges this season, according to private estimates.