State officials say Hurricane Irma caused more than $2.5 billion in damage to Florida’s agricultural community.
Irma dealt Florida’s iconic orange crop the most devastating blow causing more than $760 million in damage. Beef cattle and dairy were next with $237 million and nearly $12 million respectively.
The preliminary assessment was released Wednesday by Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
The powerful hurricane damaged nearly all the citrus fruit in some Southwest Florida groves and seriously damaging groves in Central Florida. Growers talked of trees standing in 3 feet (.9 meters) of water, which is a death sentence for a crop already under a decade-long siege by citrus greening disease. Much of the fruit was young, and it’s too late in the season for a new crop.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.