The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on Feb. 3 activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to assess the impact freezing temperatures had on the state’s agriculture businesses. Survey responses will allow the state to gather data and evaluate resources that impacted businesses may need to recover after the freezing weather that occurred the weekend of Jan. 28–30.
“The agriculture business in Florida is an integral part of the state’s economy, and we are going to do everything we can to help the farmers who were impacted by freezing temperatures,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “I am urging impacted businesses to complete the business damage assessment survey so we can help our farmers get back on their feet.”
DeSantis issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia counties.
Results from this survey will be shared with various federal, state and local agencies to implement appropriate relief.
The DEO combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts to expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency.
An initial report indicated the Georgia and Florida citrus industries came through the late January freeze with no significant widespread damage. A later update by the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association stated that the freeze did more citrus damage that was originally indicated. The update reported that the freeze caused widespread and considerable small twig, leaf and bloom damage and stated that numerous growers reported potential fruit damage due to icing.
In Florida, temperatures in the 20s were the coldest most groves had experienced in several years.
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