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Florida Ag Commissioner Wants Federal Flexibility after ‘Catastrophic’ Hurricane Damage

Last week, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson sent a letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack highlighting the “catastrophic damage suffered by Florida’s agriculture industry from Hurricane Idalia.”

The Florida Agriculture Commissioner also asked for specific flexibilities in reporting deadlines and sign-up periods for standing federal disaster programs.

According to the letter, early observations illustrated severe damage to apiculture, aquaculture, citrus, corn, cotton, dairy, environmental horticulture, peanuts, poultry, timber, and a variety of fruit, vegetable, and nut crops. The Ag Commissioner said the in addition to crop and livestock losses, there is “catastrophic loss” to infrastructure in Florida.

Commissioner Simpson “this storm brought destruction to the Big Bend region of Florida that most have never experienced, and the impacts were felt throughout West Central Florida. While this region is not as densely populated as other regions of the state, its agricultural economy and production is vital to the state and nation.”

The full letter can be read here:


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