News and Stories

UPDATE: Hurricane Irma Impacts Fall Crops

September 15, 2017

Southern Florida growers have reported extensive damage to citrus, mixed vegetable, and tomato crops in the wake of Hurricane Irma’s impact. A major re-planting effort will be necessary to recover the acreage lost in the storm. Moderate-to-severe damage was reported in Georgia as well; wind scarring will be an issue in multiple commodities as the season ramps up.

Mixed Vegetables

  • A combination of the East Coast’s seasonal transition south and the storm’s impact on upcoming growing regions, will push prices higher over the next six to eight weeks
  • Bell pepper, cucumber, and squash production will continue in Georgia and the Carolinas through mid-November; this season historically overlaps with the start of Southern Florida’s winter crops, but re-plantings and delayed start times could create a gap in supply from mid-November to mid-December
  • Mexico’s fall season will begin by mid-October; strong demand will keep markets elevated while Florida growers repair operations


  • Crops in Central and Southern Florida will experience significant yield loss through early December; crops in Northern Florida received less damage 
  • Farms and warehouses in Ruskin, Palmetto, Naples, and Immokalee remain without power
  • Re-planting is expected to start by September 25, which will delay initial harvest dates from early November to late November
  • Mexican volume will ramp up by early December


  • Orange crops were heavily impacted by strong winds, resulting in a significant amount of fruit dropping in most groves
  • Few trees were uprooted, so long-term effects are minimal; however, standing water in groves is preventing tree roots from breathing and will reduce short-term yields
  • Early reports predict a 30-70% crop loss for the upcoming season
  • Most of Florida’s citrus crop is grown for the juice market, but if fewer juice oranges are available in Florida, demand will shift to citrus growing regions supplying the fresh market (like California and Texas)
  • High prices are forecast in all regions this winter


  • Growers typically begin planting strawberries in late September, but because irrigation and plastic bed linings were damaged by strong winds, the season start date will be delayed by several weeks
  • The crop’s overall yield is not expected to be affected by Hurricane Irma since plants weren’t in the ground yet

Markon will continue to update members when more information becomes available.

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