Ag News

FL Farm Bureau Assessing Irma’s Damage

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Officials are just starting to assess the hurricane damage to Florida’s diverse agriculture.

© Farm Journal

One hundred mile an hour winds buffeted John Hoblick’s home west of Daytona throughout the night Sunday night and into Monday morning, but like many Floridians, the Florida Farm Bureau President welcomed a morning that brought seemingly less damage than most anticipated as Hurricane Irma built strength in the Atlantic.

Hoblick told AgriTalk radio host Mike Adams that his organization is working to assess the damage to growers and ranchers across the state to determine where and what the needs are.

Dairymen across the state worked to protect herds in advance of the storm, but Hoblick said there was at least one farm impacted by the storm. “H.C. Dairies in Lakeland had a barn collapse and trapped some cattle underneath,” he said. As of this morning, crews were working through the collapsed barn to free trapped cows.

Hoblick also expressed concern about the citrus crop. “Our fruit should be ripe starting in another two or three months so it’s starting to gather pretty good size and put weight on the limbs,” he said. “We’ll have a lot of limb damage on that which takes a year or two to really bounce back from that. ”

In addition, peanuts were on the ground and cotton was beginning to open according to Hoblick, so Irma’s heavy rains likely had an impact on those crops.

Listen to the entire AgriTalk interview with Florida Farm Bureau President John Hoblick in the player above.

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