Florida's Department of Citrus told FOX Business that farmers across the state are reporting anywhere from 30-70% crop loss over the last few weeks.
Maimi - Florida's orange production will plunge 21 percent to a 71-year low after damage wrought by Hurricane Irma devastated the harvest, while output of cotton also suffered in storm-hit areas, government figures showed.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages.
"I'm disappointed the USDA did not delay the traditional October crop estimate until more data could be collected to fully assess the damage", Michael W. Sparks, the group's chief executive officer, said in the statement. "It's important to recognize that the damage to Florida citrus is still unfolding, and will continue to for some time", Putnam said.
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September 10, Irma hit hard Florida's major citrus-growing region with sustained winds well over 100 miles per hour, blowing fruit off the trees with widespread tree damage.
Orange growers in Florida, the largest U.S. producer, will harvest 54 million boxes in the 2017-18 marketing year, the least since 1947 - an era when citrus irrigation was rare - the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report Thursday. The Florida Valencia orange forecast, at 31.0 million boxes (1.40 million tons), is down 13 percent from last season's final utilization. A survey of analysts conducted by Bloomberg indicated a crop of 58.2 million boxes.
AgNet Media has carried the citrus forecast live from USDA for many years. "We had groves underwater and those trees aren't just going to bounce back and continue producing fruit".