Statement by Commissioner Adam Putnam on Updated Citrus Crop Forecast, Need for Federal Assistance
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season:
“While much of the state has recovered and moved on from Hurricane Irma, Florida's citrus growers continue to grapple with the unprecedented damage, which is still unfolding in many groves. Florida's growers need support and they need it as quickly as possible. I will continue to work with Governor Scott and leaders in Washington to get Florida's growers the support and relief they need to rebuild.”
The USDA's forecast of 46 million boxes of oranges for the 2017-2018 season is down 4 million boxes from the November estimate. Today's forecast represents a decline of more than 80 percent since the peak of citrus production at 244 million boxes during the 1997-98 season.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages. In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam joined Governor Rick Scott in Washington D.C. to discuss the agricultural damage and to request federal assistance with Florida's Congressional Delegation.