By Claire Taylor, The Scottish Farmer, Oct. 4, 2017
HURRICANE IRMA has caused widespread devastation throughout Florida’s farming industry, leading to what their farm bureau are calling “an agricultural disaster that will cost farmers and ranchers billions”.
The category five hurricane wreaked havoc across parts of the Caribbean early in September, battering a number of islands, reducing buildings to rubble, before making its way north-west to Florida.
Farmers in Florida are now coping with widespread destruction of crops, buildings, fencing and properties lost to wind and water damage, as well as significant failures in the electric power grid. The entire peninsula suffered major damage but Southwest Florida was hit the hardest, with estimates in the primary citrus belt of losing 60% of their green fruit and those farmers who had already planted vegetables for the new season reporting a near-total loss.