Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association BB #:153753 Statement on Hurricane Ian
Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian this week.
As predicted, Hurricane Ian brought heavy rains and strong wind to virtually every part of Florida. The statewide toll on the agricultural industry is still uncertain, as many face power outages, widespread flooding and the inability to access fields, groves, packinghouses and other places of business. We are thankful no loss of life has been reported by our FFVA members.
As Florida is the leading producer in the U.S. for fruits and vegetables in the fall and winter months, the harvest season had not yet begun for most of our growers. Florida growers have been in planting for several weeks now with the season officially getting underway in November and running through May. The timing of Hurricane Ian means plantings for the fall crop could be impacted in some pockets of the state – the extent to which will be unknown for several days to several weeks.
We hope to know more soon as fields dry out and growers are able to get out and assess damage – keeping a close eye on disease issues.
Our members, who represent the vast majority of fruit and vegetable production in Florida, are resilient. They are used to dealing with what Mother Nature brings their way, and this storm was no different. The extensive preparations undertaken by Florida growers is a great reminder of the care and commitment they have for bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to the tables of millions of Americans.