Florida Ag Losses Could Reach $1.56 Billion
Agricultural losses in Florida from Hurricane Ian's high winds and drenching rains could reach $1.56 billion, with citrus, cattle, vegetable and melon operations among the hardest hit, according to a University of Florida report on Tuesday.
Nearly five million acres of agricultural land were affected by Hurricane Ian, of which almost 60% was grazing land. Over 700,000 acres of ag lands were affected by Category 4 hurricane conditions with nearly an additional 500,000 acres affected by less intense hurricane conditions.
In response, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried saying that, “After speaking with producers and seeing the devastation of Hurricane Ian firsthand, I am saddened, but not surprised by the estimated cost of this storm. The impact on Florida’s affected commodities cannot be understated, especially the heartbreaking damage to Florida citrus, an industry already facing significant challenges.” She went to say that, “This assessment, along with our own internal evaluation, is the first step in the rebuilding process and my department will continue to work with state and federal partners to support our producers throughout the recovery process.”