USDA Disaster Declaration for Florida Growers Impacted by Freeze

Tacy Calliesfreeze, Industry News Release

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) disaster designation for 17 counties and 10 contiguous counties impacted by the freezing temperatures that occurred in late January. View the USDA’s approval letter here.

“With the approval of our request for a disaster declaration, farmers in Florida have resources available to them as they continue their recovery efforts from recent freezing temperatures,” said DeSantis. “I remain committed to supporting our state’s agriculture industry and hardworking farmers.”

“This disaster declaration will provide additional recovery assistance to our hardworking agricultural producers impacted by the freezing temperatures,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “The division will continue to identify all available resources for impacted farmers and ensure they have access to all programs that will help them recover.” 

Freeze damage to the Florida citrus crop includes fruit loss due to drop.

A USDA disaster declaration makes farm operators in these counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a USDA disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.

The 17 primary counties eligible for USDA assistance are Broward, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, St. Lucie and Sarasota. The 10 contiguous counties eligible for UDSA assistance are Brevard, Charlotte, Lake, Lee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas and Sumter.

Programs available under this declaration include the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, the Tree Assistance Program, Emergency Farm Loans and the Livestock Indemnity Program. More information on USDA assistance programs is available here.

To apply for these programs, agricultural producers impacted by the freezing temperatures in the eligible counties should contact their local Farm Service Agency office. A list of Farm Service Agency offices in Florida is available here.

Source: The office of Gov. Ron DeSantis