Florida oranges still dropping from trees weeks after Irma

Courtesy of Beach Baptist Farmers Market Facebook page

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida’s famous oranges are still falling from trees weeks after Hurricane Irma, and officials say there’ll be fewer Florida vegetables on Thanksgiving tables because of devastation from the storm.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Florida farmers said Thursday the storm damaged crops of all kinds. Losses are reported to peanuts, strawberries, cotton and tomatoes – even Florida-grown poinsettias normally available around Christmas.

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Putnam says farm workers in many parts of Florida have no crops to pick. He updated the state Senate Agriculture Committee about the storm damage to farms and ranches, then met separately with reporters to discuss the situation.

He added the storm was a gut-punch personally, saying his family’s orange crop was shaping up as the best in years until about half the fruit was lost to Irma.

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