agriculture

Automation. Development. Citrus Greening. Florida’s agriculture industry is hurting, and Hurricane Irma is only the most recent blow. During this year's legislative session, lawmakers will be considering how to support the industry, which is second only to tourism.

Dave Chapman and dozens of other long-time organic farmers packed a meeting of the National Organic Standards board in Jacksonville.

Hurricane Irma destroyed farms and groves all around Hendry County. An agriculture expert says 78 percent of the adult population in Hendry works in the ag industry.  Irma damages will affect everyone from growers to grocery stores.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says Hurricane Irma has left the state’s iconic citrus industry in tatters.

Amy Green/WMFE

Florida fruit growers and farmers have just barely begun to assess the damage Hurricane Irma wrought on the state's citrus, sugar cane and vegetable crops — but they expect it will be significant.

State lawmakers want to cut fees for the manufacturers of harmful pesticides. That could make it cheaper for chemical companies to sell their products in the state. But a critic of the measure is worried how the change could affect farmworkers’ health.

Across the country, advocates are hailing industrial hemp as a miracle crop. Some Floridians even think the plant could surpass oranges as an agricultural powerhouse. But lawmakers in the capitol are urging caution.