The US Department of Agriculture released its monthly crop forecast (courtesy of Florida Trend) and the news is not good for Florida’s citrus industry.
Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, a likely Gubernatorial candidate released this statement:
“Although not unexpected, today’s historically low forecast is the latest example of citrus greening’s continued devastation of Florida’s citrus industry. Until a long-term solution is discovered, which some of our state’s brightest minds are working on, we must support Florida’s multi-billion dollar citrus industry and the more than 60,000 jobs it supports.”
Florida’s citrus industry is no doubt in terminal decline. It can be argued (and will be by some) that free trade agreements have played a role in the undermining of the industry, but equally important has been the spread of disease by invasive bugs. This is a serious concern for all Floridians as the citrus industry is part of the lifeblood of this state economically, even in this era where close to 90% of Florida’s population lives in cities, suburbs or exurbs.