Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a natural disaster declaration for 19 Florida counties due to agricultural damage caused by Hurricane Irma:
“I thank U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for taking action to support Florida’s farmers and ranchers still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Irma. Our preliminary estimates peg the total damage at more than $2.5 billion, but it’s important to recognize that the damage is still unfolding. Today’s disaster declaration provides much-needed support, and I will continue working with Governor Scott and our leaders in Washington to get Florida agriculture the relief it needs to rebuild.”
The USDA’s natural disaster declaration allows farmers and ranchers in 19 Florida counties and 25 contagious counties access to support from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans.
This week, Commissioner Putnam joined Governor Scott and Florida’s Congressional Delegation in Washington D.C. to discuss agricultural damage caused by Hurricane Irma and to request federal assistance. Last week, Commissioner Putnam announced that preliminary agricultural damages in Florida caused by Hurricane Irma totaled more than $2.5 billion, including more than $760 million in damages to the citrus industry. Access the preliminary report.