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How Hurricane Irma Impacted Florida's Crops - Food News

How Hurricane Irma Impacted Florida's Crops - Food News
From The Kitchn - September 15, 2017

Hurricane Irma left a lot in devastation: people were stranded and homes, businesses, and farms were destroyed. The latter leaves the future of produce especially vulnerable.

Gene McAvoy, a specialist on vegetable farming at the University of Florida, told NPR that orange and grapefruit groves that were approaching harvest were impacted, as the storm left "50 or 60 percent of the fruit lying in water [or] on the ground."

Florida's citrus production (the state produces half the nation's citrus fruits) is already threatened by citrus greening disease. And it's not just the fruittrees are in jeopardy as well, since roots submerged in water for more than three to four days can destroy trees.

"Before Hurricane Irma, there was a good chance we would have more than 75 million boxes of oranges on the trees this season; we now have much less," Shannon Stepp, executive director of the Florida Department of Citrus, tells CBS.

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