Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) have simultaneously called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue a Disaster Declaration for farmers and growers in counties impacted by the recent, uncharacteristic hard freeze.
DeSantis penned a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack where he reinforced Florida’s agricultural impact to the American economy, and how much Florida’s farmers have had to endure.
On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency executive order for almost all of Central and South Florida after the extreme cold weather threatened Florida’s farmers and growers.
Florida’s farmers are still struggling even after the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which received bipartisan support in Congress. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is also calling on Floridians to buy Florida-grown products after Mexico’s “unfair trade practices.”
A new report from the Florida Department of Agriculture shows Florida is losing its market share for seasonal produce while Mexico’s share has continued to increase. The tactic is being referred to as “crop dumping,” which is when Mexican producers intentionally flood the American market with lower priced blueberries, strawberries, and other seasonal crops.