Hurricane Ian has devastated Florida’s orange crop; some Florida citrus growers have lost up to 80% of their crop.
Florida grows 500,000 acres of fresh produce a year.
The state generates about $20 billion in total sales from produce.
It could take more than one season for them to recover.
CITRUS GROWERS SQUEEZED BY IAN
It’s been a week since Hurricane Ian slammed into Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, bringing extreme winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and storm surge. In the hardest hit areas, nearly 4,000 people were rescued days after the storm, and dozens lost their lives.
Businesses across Florida are starting to assess the damage, and one of the industries hardest hit is the citrus growers. Some Florida citrus growers have lost up to 80% of their crop as a result of Hurricane Ian, mainly due to oranges that were knocked to the ground from high winds and flooded groves. Since the fruit wasn’t ready for picking, oranges lying under the tree were a loss.
One grower, Alico, which owns nearly 50,000 acres of citrus groves in the state, indicated they saw a significant drop in fruit from trees. It could take the company at least two seasons to recover to pre-hurricane production levels. According to Bloomberg, the state grows 500,000 acres of fresh produce a year, generating an estimated $20 billion in total sales.
Crop damage isn’t the only issue. Some of the farms’ infrastructure was also destroyed, which will be expensive to fix. The total damage amount has not been determined. Overall, the total damage and economic loss of Hurricane Ian will be between $180 billion and $210 billion according to AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers.
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