Southeastern Producers May Escape Some of Dorian’s Devastation

Randall Weiseman Citrus, Florida, Georgia, Weather


Hurricane Dorian turned out to be a storm full of surprising twists and turns. What was once supposed to decimate Florida’s east coast as a category four storm has stayed hundreds of miles off land and is moving up the Atlantic coast.

After stalling over the Bahamas for most of the holiday weekend, Dorian is now making its trek north and may be avoiding landfall altogether. In a report from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rod Bain, U.S. Meteorologist Brad Rippey describes what the next few days may look like.

Hear Bain’s report:

Florida and Georgia may have lucked out with Dorian since the storm shifted gears over Labor Day weekend. After speaking with a few growers near the east coast, Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says while they’re still keeping an eye on Dorian, they don’t foresee any impacts right now to their production systems.

As for Florida, reports suggest that the state can still see some heavy rains, strong winds and possibly some severe storm surge and flooding, but it could have been much more devastating to the state’s agriculture industry. Find out what’s at stake agriculturally on the east coast in this release from the University of Florida.

Some precautionary decisions may have an impact on some growers moving forward. For example, Fresh Plaza reported Tuesday morning that Mike Owens of Pioneer Growers delayed corn planting in preparation for the storm. While it is good news the storm won’t impact him too much, he will now have to deal with the delayed season, including a delayed harvest.

Furthermore, some Florida citrus producers are breathing a sigh of relief that it seems they won’t see the extent of Dorian’s devastation. In an interview with AgNet Media Founder and President Gary Cooper, Doug Bournique, executive director of the Indian River Citrus League, was optimistic Tuesday morning that the region would escape major damage. Read the full story and hear Bournique’s comments here.

While things are looking up for the Southeastern region, nothing is set in stone and it is recommended to continue to take precautionary measures until the storm has cleared. It is also important to note that Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and now Virginia have all declared a state of emergency as Dorian continues to move north. Growers can keep up with Dorian’s track here.