January 19, 2010
Bronson Announces Extension Of State Of Emergency
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson has requested and received from the Governor an Executive Order extending for an additional seven days a state of emergency to assist farmers dealing with crop damage from the freeze. The order directs the state Department of Transportation to extend the lifting of weight, height, length and width restrictions for commercial vehicles transporting vulnerable crops to processing sites.
“Growers are taking advantage of the improved weather to salvage as many fruit and vegetable crops as possible to mitigate the damage and their losses,” Bronson said. “The ability to get the products where they need to go is critical to reducing the losses and ensuring these commodities get to the public.”
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is continuing to assess the damage caused by the record cold temperatures that battered the state for more than a week. Bronson says the losses could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars but says it is not possible to put a number on the crop losses until farmers complete harvesting as much as they can. Bronson says there may be damage that is not yet apparent, such as fungal and bacterial problems, as well as root rot caused by increased irrigation followed by rainy weather over the past weekend.
Bronson says it is important that the state correctly assess the damage because the information will be provided to the federal government as growers seek assistance in the coming weeks and months.
Bronson also wants to remind people that while there has been damage, Florida still has agricultural products and is open for business.
- Visit the Florida DOT Road Use Permit Web Site
For more information:
(850) 251-5693 (cell)