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Intersection: Florida Agriculture After Irma

Hurricane Irma in 2017. Image Credit: NOAA/CIRA
Hurricane Irma in 2017. Image Credit: NOAA/CIRA

Hurricane Irma dealt a serious blow to Florida’s citrus industry. Growers faced ruined crops and flooded groves, and the financial tally is huge.

The sunshine state also produces a lot of the other fresh fruits and vegetables that gets shipped out to the rest of the United States over the winter. So how did those other growers fare in the storm, and how are they doing now, two months out? 

"If there was any silver lining at all to the hurricane, it was the timing," says Lisa Lochridge, Director of Public Affairs with the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.

"There just weren't many of those crops in the ground when Irma hit, so once [growers] were able to get back in their fields and plant, they were back in the game," she says.

Lochridge says the hurricane was especially tough on farm workers, many of who were evacuated or suffered damage to their homes in South Florida.

"And of course they were without work for a while, and certainly there's not as much citrus harvesting going as well," she says.