Possible Impact on Citrus Industry Following Hurricane Irma

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WESLACO - The Florida Department of Citrus is checking the damage Hurricane Irma caused to groves. 

The harvest production is expected to take a hit. 

Valley citrus experts are watching to see if the impact will be felt here. 

According to the USDA Florida is the leading state in the US for citrus. 

With the citrus taking a hit in Florida, other states like California, Texas and Arizona will have to help supply what was lost in Hurricane Irma. 

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with Texas Citrus Mutual President Dale Murden. He says damage assessments are still being done in Florida. They don't yet know the exact impact Irma will have. 

Murden says in some areas there are reports of fruit loss up to fifty percent due to strong winds and flooding. 

Murder says the Valley saw and increase in demand several years ago when a freeze damaged trees in California. 

He says,"Sometimes when somebody else has a disaster markets tend to wildly fluctuate. It's too early to tell yet but it could have an effect on the price of fruit if there is less fruit to purchase price is going to go up."

Murder says he doesn't expect the price of local citrus to increase significantly. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture says it may take weeks to know the full extend of Hurricane Irma's damage to their industry. 



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