Governor Asks Feds To Declare Ag Disaster In Florida

From citrus groves and ferneries to tropical-fish farms and sugar-cane fields, nearly all of the state’s agricultural crops suffered some damage from 13days of bone-chilling temperatures, state officials said.

On Friday, Gov. Charlie Crist sent a letter to the federal government asking to declare all of Florida an agriculture disaster area. That declaration would make growers eligible for low-interest loans and possible financial aid.

“No sector of agriculture appears to have been spared,” Crist wrote in his letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

State officials expect to begin receiving damage assessments from counties next week. But it could be weeks before a final assessment of how much of the state’s 9million acres used for agriculture was damaged, said Terence McElroy, spokesman for the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

To read the rest of the story, please go to: The Orlando Sentinel