Florida's citrus crop falls sharply. Hurricane Ian is to blame
Hurricane Ian dealt a major blow to Florida's struggling citrus industry, according to the latest crop estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hurricane Ian dealt a major blow to Florida's struggling citrus industry.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday released its crop production estimate for the 2022-2023 growing season, which runs from October through June.
Citrus production in Florida fell by more than 60% since the previous season’s harvest.
Here are the numbers of citrus boxes produced in the Sunshine State during the 2022-2023 season:
- 15.9 million boxes of oranges
- 1.8 million boxes of grapefruit
- 480,000 boxes of tangerines and tangelos
In September, Hurricane Ian crossed over 375,000 acres of citrus groves across the state last year. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimates the damages cost growers about $675 million.
Before the storm, growers had been struggling for years because of a disease called citrus greening.
State lawmakers allocated $65 million this year to help revive the state’s citrus production. Most of the money will fund research and the replanting of citrus trees.
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