Irma Contributing To Florida's Declining Citrus Forecast

Jan 12, 2018

Credit Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan's twitter

The Florida orange usually fares well during the winter weather, but recent numbers show citrus crops were not able to weather hurricane Irma’s storm.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released its monthly citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season, and Florida’s staple crop did not fare so well. At the start of the season, Florida was predicted to produce 54 million boxes of oranges. Now, the USDA is forecasting that number to be eight million less than previously predicted.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says the lack of production is due to Hurricane Irma. The storm left Florida’s citrus industry and farmers with more than $760 million worth of damage.

Putnam has been working with Governor Rick Scott and the Trump administration to get more recovery aid in Washington D.C and discuss the damage. The two requests for federal assistance are still pending. At its peak, Florida produced more than 200 million boxes of oranges a season.