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How Florida Farmers Prep For Hurricane Irma

Public Domain/Pixabay/Hans

As major Hurricane Irma makes its way to Florida, farmers across the state have to prepare their lands.

Most of Florida’s citrus groves, sugarcane fields, and produce farms are surrounded by water—canals and ditches that help move water around during heavy rains.

"We're drawing those canals and ditches down so that they have a lot of room to take excess water," says Gene McAvoy, regional vegetable extension agent for the University of Florida.

They're anticipating excess water Hurricane Irma might bring. McAvoy says it takes a pump to draw out that water. So he recommends getting enough fuel, in case the power goes out to keep those pumps going. McAvoy says farmers, ranchers and grove owners should also take a lot of photographs. 

"You’re gonna need those photographs before and after to prove what you had before for your insurance claim or your disaster claim," he says. 

He also says to move agriculture equipment into safe places before the storm hits.

McAvoy says for most Florida farmers, this is not their first rodeo. He says they’ve been through many storms, and they’re resilient. 

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Since 2012, I’ve been a voice on public radio stations across Florida - in Miami, Fort Myers, and now Tampa.
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