The agricultural industry in Florida is still going and growing strong says the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
What accounts for this consistent expansion?
According to the report, increased sales of oranges, honey and additional agricultural commodities are fueling this impressive growth.
Though Florida farmers face many agricultural challenges and setbacks (the current citrus greening epidemic to name one), they forge on with resilience. Florida farmers make smart decisions, tapping into areas that need attention and vesting interest in the long-term well-being and sustenance of the industry.
Highlights of the Report:
- Florida’s farms came in first for the production value of grapefruit, squash, sweet corn, and watermelon among others.
- Florida’s orange production continues to grow, boasting a 15.4 percent increase in crop value from $1.3 billion in sales in 2011 to $1.5 billion in sales in 2012. Florida is still the national leader in orange production.
As these commodities gain staying power, they provide tens of thousands of jobs out there in a variety of areas for both skilled and semi-skilled workers. At present, Florida agriculture supports 2 million jobs – 14% of the state’s employed.
As the state churns out more specialty crops – high-valued fruits and veggies – more hand-harvesting workers are required, providing even more jobs.
As incomes have increased in Florida, people are now demanding more high-quality foods, including fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy products and forgoing on the typical cereals and other staple foods.
This increased demand is due to increased agricultural growth and the greater availability of these high-valued commodities.
Bottom-line: The report shows that Florida is on a winning streak in terms of agricultural growth and it looks like this growth will persist thanks to exceptional farmers putting their focus and harvesting-hands where it counts.
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