Already decimated by disease, Florida citrus growers are vowing not to let Hurricane Irma deliver an industry death blow.
Harvests have plunged 70 percent in the past dozen years and forecasters predict Irma could deliver 80 mile-per-hour plus winds to groves bulging with fruit.
But Florida Citrus Mutual’s Andrew Meadows says the industry survived four back to back storms in late 2004.
“We’re going to deal with whatever happens and that’s part of being in agriculture and part of being a farmer. Mother Nature giveth and she taketh away and that’s just the next chapter in the long history of Florida citrus.”
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association spokeswoman Lisa Lochridge (LOCK-ridge,) says Irma is striking early enough to give corn, string bean and pepper growers the option to replant a winter harvest if necessary.