Citrus Extension agent shares hurricane planning recommendations for Florida citrus growers.

The Atlantic Hurricane season started June 1st, and while initial forecasts called for an average season, the ending of El Nino prompted forecasters to increase the outlook for an above-normal hurricane season. Citrus growers were hit hard by Hurricane Irma in September of 2018. While Florida citrus growers can’t control the weather, they can plan for it. Multi-county Extension agent Chris Oswalt shared his tips and advice for growers to create a hurricane plan in a Citrus Industry article. “I would … very strongly suggest that you have a set of standard operating procedures,” he said. Read the highlights below.

Hurricane Planning Recommendations

Oswalt recommends that all citrus growers have a hurricane plan in place before a storm hits. “Have a plan; work that plan,” he said in the article. Oswalt’s suggestions include:

  • Secure buildings, materials, and chemicals. “If you have any material/pesticide storage facilities, ensure that they are secure and that your materials are secure within those buildings,” Oswalt shared.
  • Know where grove employees are and how soon they can come in if water needs to be pumped out of the grove.
  • Keep plenty of fuel on hand, such as diesel for  water pumps.
  • Empty fertigation tanks. Oswalt recommends filling the tanks with water “to keep them weighted down so they don’t become projectiles during a hurricane.”
  • Have a record of prior production to make filling for crop or tree insurance or special government assistance programs easier.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.