Hurricane Dorian Heads for Southeast Growing Regions This Weekend


Florida and Southeast citrus and vegetable grower-shippers are bracing for the first major hurricane of the season at a time when citrus growers are preparing for harvest.

Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit Florida and/or Southeast Georgia late Sunday or early Monday of Labor Day weekend, and the timing is terrible for produce industry there.

“We’re watching the same forecasts as everyone and hoping for the best,” said Lisa Lochridge, director of public affairs for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, BB #:153753 on August 29.

“Right now, the cone couldn’t be much worse, but it’s still relatively early.”

“Citrus growers are just a few weeks out from harvest, so the timing is about as bad as it could be. It seems we just can’t catch a break from Mother Nature. Hurricane Irma plowed through the state just a couple of weeks later than this in 2017, we all remember the devastation there. Hurricane force winds blew the fruit off the trees, and there was deep standing water in groves, which posed additional problems.”

Eric Bolestra, sales manager with Ken Corbett Farms, LLC BB #:274653 Lake Park, GA, said everyone there is keeping a close eye on the storm.

The company grows and ships peppers and other vegetables, and Bolestra said the markets would definitely be affected in September and October, as the deal moves out of the Midwest and northern growing regions into the Southeast.

Lochridge said some vegetable crops have just been planted in South Florida, “but for the most part growers there are behind planting schedules because of the frequent heavy summer rainfall in that region.”

By The Produce Blue Book