According to state agriculture officials, Hurricane Ian damaged Florida agriculture to $1.8 billion last month.
According to a preliminary estimate made public on Monday by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Category 4 storm’s destruction of the state’s crops and agricultural infrastructure cost between $1.1 billion and $1.8 billion.
The agency’s assessment was comparable to a preliminary estimate provided last week by the University of Florida, which pegged Florida’s agricultural loss as high as $1.5 billion.
From $686 million to $1.2 billion in crops were harmed. According to the Department of Agriculture report, Citrus suffered damages ranging from $416 million to $675 million, which represented the largest losses.
About 60% of the citrus consumed in the United States is produced in Florida, where the hurricane made landfall almost at the beginning of the citrus-producing season there.
Citrus growers not only lost fruit that was blown off trees, but they also risk having their trees damaged by flooding.
According to the analysis, up to 11% of citrus trees could have been lost.
Even before the hurricane, the fatal citrus greening disease was expected to reduce Florida’s orange production by about a third this season.
As planting season was ramping up, Florida lost an estimated $153.7 million to $230.5 million in non-citrus fruits and vegetables or around 10% to 15% of crops.
According to the report, numerous fields lost drip irrigation, plastic, and other equipment.