For Immediate Release: From Florida Citrus Mutual
LAKELAND, Fla. (August 20, 2008) â€“ Tropical Storm Fay moved across the state Tuesday and Wednesday drenching the Florida citrus industry and sparing it of significant damage.
â€œWe were very concerned as Fay approached the state. Weâ€™ve been through this a few too many times over the past four years,â€ said Michael W. Sparks, executive VP/CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. â€œFortunately, the storm did not strengthen to a point where it could cause major damage to our crop.â€
â€œWe got much needed rain from the storm; however there are isolated pockets of standing water that could cause some problems, especially in the Indian River region where weâ€™ve had reports of 13 inches of rain. Despite that situation, we came out of this in pretty good shape.â€
Sparks said Fay did not cause a significant amount of fruit to drop to the ground. He said wind from the storm was not strong enough to uproot trees.
â€œThis is a very fluid situation so we are still assessing the total impact,â€ Sparks said. Hopefully, this is the last major storm to hit Florida for a long time. The citrus harvest is right around the corner and we are primed for a good season and a quality crop.â€
Founded in 1948 and currently representing nearly 8,000 grower members, Florida Citrus Mutual is the stateâ€™s largest citrus growersâ€™ organization. For more information, please visit www.flcitrusmutual.com.