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October 5, 2022

Hurricane Ian: Farm Resources and Recovery Updates for Florida Farmers

The impacts of Hurricane Ian will be felt by Southeast farmers and ranchers long after the storm has passed—and AgAmerica is here to provide support.  

In late September 2022, Hurricane Ian hit Florida as one of its most destructive hurricanes impacting more than half of the state. At the time it hit Southwest Florida, it was a category four hurricane. 

During these challenging times, Florida farmers and ranchers are grappling with significant loss—but there is also a sense of hope for the future. The spirit of the American Farmer is one of resilience, dedication, and grit. We know many farmers impacted by Hurricane Ian are facing an uphill battle. However, the ag community is already stepping up to help one another and come back stronger. 

The Impacts of Hurricane Ian on Florida Agriculture

When a hurricane hits, it has lingering impacts on agricultural operations and a rippling effect on our national supply chain.  

As recovery efforts are already underway, there are reports of farm losses that include crops, livestock, infrastructure, and equipment. 

Power outages are impacting greenhouses, produce storage facilities, and milking operations. Southern parts of Florida have reported 100 percent crop loss, according to Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried.  

While damage is still being assessed, the impact on the citrus industry has been significant. According to Politico, 400,000 out of 450,000 citrus acres were affected by the storm. According to the Executive Director of the Highlands Citrus Growers Association Ray Royce, some citrus growers have reported that 15 to 80 percent of their fruit has fallen off the trees.  

“Florida’s ag sector is a major supplier of winter-time produce for the rest of the U.S., and the damage will ripple through grocery stores for months to come.”

Politico Weekly Agriculture

With fall being planting season for the Florida fruit and vegetable industry, many farms are facing either delayed planting or are unable to replant their crop this year. Many fall vegetables have been lost including peppers, tomatoes, and green beans.  

“One thing is for certain. Despite challenges, Florida farmers and ranchers remain unwavering in their commitment to produce the food and fiber that millions of Americans depend on.”

Although the road to recovery will be challenging, the determination and resilience of the Florida agriculture community remains strong. 

Navigating the Road to Recovery 

Already, farmers, ranchers, and agriculture supporters are working together to support affected farmers and ranchers. They have already begun to repair greenhouses, structures, and irrigation systems. People are raising donations for recovery. And the agriculture industry is once again uniting to emerge stronger than ever.  

A wonderful example of the ag community coming together is Dakin Dairy Farms. Even though their farm experienced substantial loss, they are still helping the community by providing supplies and hot meals and coordinating donation drives.  

Disaster Recovery Resources for Florida Farmers and Ranchers 

During this period of rebuilding and recovery, it is critical for farmers and ranchers to have access to recovery information and resources. Resources for Florida farmers and ranchers to guide hurricane recovery efforts include:  

To analyze the losses and damages to Florida agriculture, the University of Florida IFAS is conducting a survey for Florida farmers and ranchers to report their losses. While it will take some time to assess the full impacts of Hurricane Ian, it is certain that there will be some long-lasting repercussions from the storm. 

United in Resilience 

During these trying times, AgAmerica stands beside you.  

And while these times are challenging, we have confidence in the strength, dedication, and perseverance of the ag community. 

In times like these farmers and ranchers pull together and do everything they can to recover and rebuild.  

If your farm operation has been impacted by Hurricane Ian and is in need of assistance, contact AgAmerica to learn more about the resources available. 

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