News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Carl Collen


Wednesday 27th August 2008, 04:08 Central Time

Storm damage assessment underway

Growers are counting the cost of the damage caused by Tropical Storm Fay, which hit southeast US States this week

Storm damage assessment underway

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Tropical Storm Fay, the weather system that has hit south-east states of the US with heavy rainfall during the past week, has had a mixed effect on crops across the affected regions as growers begin to assess the damage caused.

Major citrus production areas in Florida have reportedly been drenched by extreme rainfall, leaving many groves in standing water. The Southeast Farm Press reported that the Indian River area received up to 13 inches of rain, with Immokalee (11 inches), Sebring (7 inches) and Apopka (5 inches) also hit – although there has been no significant wind damage.

"Some growers have water trunk-to-trunk," Doug Bournique, executive vice-president of the Indian River Citrus League, told the Palm Beach Post. "I have never seen a system that has impacted the state of Florida with this much water."

Additionally, the storm caused plastic laid for vegetables to be washed or blown away, although beans and cucumbers had already been planted and may have suffered losses, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/NASS Florida field office.

In Georgia, the US$128m pecan crop had been particularly affected, with concern raised about disease in peanut crops, according to the USDA/NASS Georgia field office.

"I was devastated – we've lost 50 per cent of the crop," pecan grower Tom Stone told the Fort Mill Times. "We knew we were going to get a little rain, but we didn't know we were going to get all this wind and rain together."

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