Florida Citrus Crop Damage Estimated at Nearly $150 Million
LAKELAND, Fl. (Aug. 18, 2004) - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Farm Service Agency (FSA) posted preliminary figures representing an
estimated crop loss impact of Hurricane Charley on Florida citrus growers.
Officials estimate that the storm reduced the overall citrus harvest for
the upcoming season by 20 percent of the total crop, which equates to
nearly $150 million in crop loss given crop price levels for the past two
This figure is for fruit only and does not represent tree loss and
re-planting costs or damage costs associated with barns, equipment,
processing and packing facilities, which will increase the overall economic
loss the industry will face. In addition, growers expect more fruit to
fall within the next few weeks, further adding to the overall fruit loss.
"This is a very preliminary figure that we fully expect to increase as
additional damage is discovered and industry losses are calculated," said
Andy LaVigne, Florida Citrus Mutual's executive vice president/CEO.
The counties most dramatically impacted financially are DeSoto and Hardee
counties where citrus drives the local economies. The economic impact from
the citrus industry for these two counties is approximately 445 million for
the 2002-2003 citrus season. Ninety-six percent of the Florida orange crop
is processed into orange juice. Florida citrus growers supply 80 percent
of the U.S. orange juice supply and 38 percent of the world orange juice