Like you, I was relieved Martin County didn’t bear the brunt of Hurricane Irma as it rolled across the Caribbean, the Keys and the rest of Florida. Unfortunately, while most of the urbanized areas on both coasts didn’t experience a direct hit, the agricultural areas of Martin County – and even more so in other parts of Florida - were exposed to Irma’s catastrophic winds and rain, which caused mass devastation to the state’s agricultural industry.
Florida’s Agricultural Commissioner, Adam Putnam, made a bold and depressing statement earlier this month after doing an initial assessment of the hurricane’s impact: "The path of Hurricane Irma could not have been more lethal to the state's farmers and the scope of damage to the state's fruits and vegetables is unprecedented."
Putnam said Irma created an agricultural catastrophe, flattening greenhouses, toppling trees and flooding pastures as it tore through the state’s most fruitful regions. The wind and rain brought by this storm caused widespread destruction and hit citrus groves throughout the Treasure Coast, Southwest Florida, and the middle of the state especially hard...