TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding the USDA issuing a natural disaster declaration for 19 Florida counties due to the damage the Florida citrus industry suffered during Hurricane Irma. It’s estimated that Hurricane Irma caused more than $2.5 billion in losses for Florida’s agriculture industry, including more than $760 million in losses for Florida citrus. This week, Governor Scott traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate for federal aid for this important industry. The Governor also activated a $25 million Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Thank you to the USDA for taking action to aid in the recovery of Florida’s iconic citrus industry. By making more federal help available, combined with our Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program, we are giving farmers a way to immediately address the losses they incurred during Hurricane Irma. I appreciate Secretary Perdue’s attention to this important matter and we will continue to find ways to help every Floridian recover from this storm. It is absolutely critical that we work with the Trump Administration and Congress to help Florida’s citrus and agricultural industries following Hurricane Irma.”

This disaster declaration makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to designated primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including FSA emergency loans. See the declaration HERE.

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