ICYMI: The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie Survey Crop Damage at Florida Farms Following Freeze

Feb 11, 2022

Tallahassee, Fla. – This week, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie toured Florida orange groves, vegetable farms, and sugar cane fields to survey damage from the record freeze that occurred the weekend of January 28-30.  

During the freeze event, temperatures reached decade lows in areas of Central and South Florida, causing significant crop damage. In response, Governor DeSantis declared a State of Emergency and instructed DEO Secretary Eagle and FDEM Director Guthrie to survey the impacts of the freeze on Florida’s economy. Last week, DEO activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey.

Secretary Eagle and Director Guthrie examine damaged crops with Florida farmers.

“When touring the impacted farms, I witnessed firsthand the loss faced by Florida’s agricultural industry,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “Florida owes much of its economic success to the agricultural industry, and under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, our farmers will receive the support they need.”

“The Division has remained in constant contact with our agricultural partners and impacted counties to assist in their recovery efforts from freezing temperatures,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “After visiting with many farmers who suffered from damaged crops, we are more committed than ever in ensuring that all resources are being used to support our agriculture community.”

Following Secretary Eagle and Director Guthrie’s visit to the impacted farms, Governor DeSantis requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issue a Disaster Declaration for impacted counties. The Governor’s letter also requested that the USDA make all assistance available through USDA programs be made available to the Florida Farmers impacted by the freeze. The letter is available here.

Damaged citrus fruit following January’s freezing weather event.

Results from the Business Damage Assessment Survey will be shared with various federal, state, and local agencies to implement appropriate relief. Businesses can complete the survey online at FloridaDisaster.biz by selecting “Freezing Weather Event January 2022” from the dropdown menu. If you need additional assistance with your business, please call 850-815-4925 or email ESF18@em.myflorida.com.

Green bean crop damaged by January’s freezing weather event.
Sweet corn crops damaged by January’s freezing weather event.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce, and community development efforts, expediting economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities and promote economic resiliency. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org.


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