Oct 3, 2018Some Florida tomato growers pulling out after hurricane damage
Hurricane Irma didn’t hurt just Florida’s citrus growers.
According to the Naples Daily News, from landscaping and nursery businesses in South Florida to tomato growers in Southwest Florida to dairy farmers in North Florida, the agriculture industry took a beating from Irma.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimated total hurricane-related losses to the state’s agriculture industry – including beef, dairy and aquaculture – at more than $2.5 billion.
Losses to the citrus industry initially were pegged at $761 million, but that number has since grown to more than $1 billion.
Some growers are recovering better than others.
But for some, the hurricane was the last straw. A few tomato growers have thrown in the towel since last season, including one of the oldest tomato-growing families in the state on the east coast – Big Red Tomato, which also had plantings in East Naples.