Hurricane Irma Damage Is Serious for Florida Citrus

Tacy CalliesWeather

Hurricane IrmaAs Hurricane Irma tore through Florida on September 10-11, all of the state’s citrus-growing regions were affected to some degree.

“There’s no doubt we’ve had some serious damage,” said Florida Citrus Mutual Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Sparks. “The amount of loss varies substantially from the various citrus-growing regions.”

Hurricane Irma

Mike Sparks

In Florida’s southwest citrus region, Sparks said, “Crop losses have been reported from 50 to 75 percent.” All other growing regions reported crop losses from 35 to 50 percent, he said.

“If there is a silver lining, it’s that very few tree losses have been reported,” Sparks said. He added that some trees were uprooted.

“It’s much too early to estimate an industrywide loss,” Sparks said, but Florida Citrus Mutual has been talking to federal and state officials “for assistance on this devastating loss.”

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Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large