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Freezing temperatures damage Florida crops

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Freezing temperatures destroyed the bean crop in part of Florida.
Freezing temperatures destroyed the bean crop in part of Florida.

A cold snap through southern Florida has destroyed portions of the state's green bean and corn crop and may delay this year's potato crop.

Temperatures dipping below freezing in the overnight last week wreaked havoc throughout the Belle Glade, Florida area.

"All of our beans were wiped out," Bryan Biederman, assistant sales manager of Pioneer Growers Co-op told "Any corn we had planted for the month of March has been wiped out. It was truly a setback for our winter program."

In Brooksville, some were able to save crops by watering them and encasing them in ice. Butch Hostetter Jr., co-owner of Butch's Blueberries told Hernando Today that he expects the freezing temperatures cost him 10 to 15 percent of his total crop.

Although most farmers are reporting some level of damage from the falling temperatures, it appears bean and corn farmers in the Belle Glade area were hit the worst.

Arnold Mack, vice president of the South Florida Potato Cooperative told that the majority of the damage was in the area north of Lake Okeechobee and into the central part of the state with damages reaching upwards of 40 percent.ADNFCR-2034-ID-18999863-ADNFCR

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