Alico, Inc. reported on Sept. 30 that initial observations following Hurricane Ian indicate there was significant drop of fruit in its groves. However, most trees remain intact. The magnitude of the fruit drop will be formally calculated by the company’s staff and insurance companies in coming weeks.
Alico has 48,900 acres of citrus groves in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands and Polk counties. Those groves sustained hurricane or tropical storm force winds for varying durations of time during the hurricane’s march through Florida Sept. 28–29.
“Initial inspections indicate that substantially all of our trees remain intact, with the exception of a single grove in Charlotte County that was in the direct path of the storm,” a company media release stated. “We believe this indicates that company-wide, the greater impact of the storm will be on production in the current season, and possibly next season, rather than on long-term production.”
Alico stated that lessons learned, especially since Hurricane Irma in 2017, “allowed us to be better prepared prior to landfall and to more rapidly begin recovery after impact. The implementation of our disaster programs, our dedicated workforce and experienced management appear to have limited the damage to our properties.”
Alico reported that it did not experience any significant flooding, and that other company property and equipment was not materially impacted.
Alico maintains crop insurance for catastrophic events on all of its groves. “While all of our groves experienced an impact from Hurricane Ian, not all of our groves may have suffered enough damage for insurance claims,” the company stated. “Alico maintains insurance for catastrophic loss of trees, which is not likely to be significant from this storm.”
Alico said it will supply juice processors Tropicana, Peace River, Cutrale and Florida’s Natural with all available fruit during the upcoming harvest season.
“Based upon prior experience with serious storms of this nature, we expect it will take at least two seasons for the groves to recover to pre-hurricane production levels,” Alico reported. “Although past experience is not a predictor of future results, Alico saw its production increase 9% above pre-hurricane levels within a single season following Hurricane Irma in September 2017.”
Learn more about Hurricane Ian’s impact on the Florida citrus industry.
Source: Alico, Inc.
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