Irma Caused About $2.5 billion in Florida Agriculture Losses

Elias Hubbard
October 13, 2017

Things are even worse in Florida as NASS expects 54 million boxes of oranges to be produced, down 21 percent from last year's final production of nearly 69 million boxes.

"Before the hurricane, we were expecting more than 75 million boxes of oranges on the trees this season".

The USDA's estimate for 54 million boxes of oranges this season, is down from 68. Estimated productivity in Texas, the biggest USA grower of the fiber, fell to 745 pounds per acre from 757 pounds predicted in September, with much of the state's growing area unaffected by Harvey.

Over the weekend, Floridas two USA senators-Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio-led almost all members of the Florida congressional delegation in urging the leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees to provide additional resources for hurricane recovery efforts in Florida, including $5 billion in funds to for agriculture.

The California forecast is also lower than last year at 35.0 million boxes (1.40 million tons), down 11 percent from last season's final utilization, while the Texas all orange forecast, at 1.65 million boxes (70,000 tons), is up 20 percent from last year.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages. Hurricane Irma's path coincided with some of Florida's most productive agricultural landscapes, and consequently it caused major losses to all segments of production agriculture.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release its first citrus production forecast for Florida's 2017-2018 Thursday after Hurricane Irma swept the Sunshine State more than a month ago, wiping away a majority of its treasured crop.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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