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Gov. DeSantis requests federal disaster declaration for farmers impacted by frigid temps

The governor's office says crops were damaged during the cold weather.
Credit: AP
Ice clings to oranges in a grove Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, in Plant City, Fla. Farmers spray water on their crops to help keep the fruit from getting damaged by the cold. Temperatures overnight dipped into the mid-20's. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue a disaster declaration for farmers who have been impacted by freezing temperatures across the state.

During the last week of January, Florida experienced a cold front that brought record low temperatures for some parts of the state. The governor's office says those cold conditions led to many crops being damaged. 

“Florida’s farmers play a key role in our State’s economy and my administration is committed to their recovery from the recent freezing temperatures,” DeSantis said in a news release.

Last week, the governor issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in 30 of the state's 67 counties, which include Citrus, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

If the USDA grants the disaster designation, then Florida farmers would have access to federal aid that could help protect their remaining crops.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is currently conducting a survey to assess the damage the freezing temperatures had on the state's agriculture industry. 

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