USDA FORECAST: Florida Citrus Industry Hit Hard By Hurricane Irma, Groves Still Under Water

By  //  October 13, 2017

sustained more than $760 million in damages

Marvel’s superhero, Captain Citrus, draws his power from the sun and hails from a Florida orange grove. And here’s his true origin story: He was developed by Marvel for Florida’s citrus growers, who hope the hero will use his powers to help them sell more orange juice.

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The Florida citrus industry was hit hard by Hurricane Irma as the USDA forecast of 54 million boxes of oranges for the 2017-2018 season is down from the 68.7 million boxes harvested last season.

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, Commissioner Putnam announced that Florida citrus sustained more than $760 million in damages.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam joined Governor Rick Scott and Florida’s Congressional Delegation this week in Washington D.C to discuss the recent damage caused by Hurricane Irma and to request federal assistance.

Putnam released the a statement Thursday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season.

“Hurricane Irma’s path could not have been more lethal to Florida citrus,” said Putnam.

“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.”

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit

Melbourne City Council Waives Building Permit Fees for Hurricane Irma DamageRelated Story:
Melbourne City Council Waives Building Permit Fees for Hurricane Irma Damage