Agricultural state of emergency extended after long freeze
Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 8:22 a.m.
The two week old agricultural state of emergency has been extended for a third week. An executive order by Gov. Charlie Crist lifted the height, weight, length and width restrictions on commercial trucks carrying crops for an additional seven days.
A state of emergency was initially declared earlier his month when it became apparent that the cold weather was settling in for several days and was likely to significantly damage fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said lifting trucking restrictions allowed producers to minimize their financial losses and the potential loss of commodities.
"Growers are taking advantage of the improved weather to salvage as many fruit and vegetable crops as possible to mitigate the damage and their losses," Bronson said in a news release. "The ability to get the products where they need to go is critical to reducing the losses and ensuring these commodities get to the public."
Bronson said his staff is still assessing the losses caused by more than a week of freezing overnight temperatures, but preliminary estimates place the losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Officials said some of the damage from the cold may not be immediately apparent, for example fungal or bacterial problems, or conditions like root rot.
Details about the weight, height, length and width restrictions can be found at www.florida-agriculture.com/news/01-05-10.htm
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