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Agriculture leaders to tour state, survey Hurricane Irma damage

Storm deals Florida's iconic orange crop devastating blow

Damage in DeBary from Hurricane Irma. Photo courtesy of News 6 viewer William Sell.
Damage in DeBary from Hurricane Irma. Photo courtesy of News 6 viewer William Sell.


ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is scheduled to survey agricultural damage in Florida from Hurricane Irma.

Perdue will visit the state Monday, starting in Clewiston. According to a news release, he will fly with Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to view the storm's impact on crops.

Irma dealt Florida's iconic orange crop a devastating blow, destroying nearly all the fruit in some Southwest Florida groves and seriously damaging groves in Central Florida.

Other crops were also destroyed. Lisa Lochridge, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, said last week that reports indicate a 50 percent to 70 percent crop loss in South Florida.

Florida is a key source of fresh fruits and vegetables for the nation in the winter.