Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam

Tallahassee, Fla.-(Newsradio 970 WFLA)-The U.S. Department of Agriculture is out with the new citrus forecast for Florida.  That forecast of 54 million boxes of oranges for the 2017-2018 season is down from the 68.7 million boxes harvested last season.

State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has a problem with that forecast because of damage to the crop from Hurricane Irma. “Irma’s path could not have been more lethal to Florida citrus. I am concerned that today’s forecast does not accurately estimate the damages to our industry, given that groves are still under water and fruit is still dropping from trees. It’s important to recognize that the damage to Florida citrus is still unfolding, and will continue to for some time.

“One thing is clear, Florida’s growers need support and they need it fast. I will continue to work with leaders in Washington to get Florida’s growers the support and relief they need to rebuild as quickly as possible. There is no group of people more stubborn or more resilient than Florida’s growers, and we will get through this together.”

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages. Commissioner Putnam also joined Governor Rick Scott and Florida’s Congressional Delegation this week in Washington to discuss the recent damage caused by Hurricane Irma and to request federal assistance.

Photo courtesy Commissioner Adam Putnam