Christa Court, assistant professor of regional economics and director of the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, recently spoke about the economic trends of Florida’s citrus industry and how the impacts of a natural disaster are determined.
The economist said Florida citrus production and yield are trending downward. “But we have been also seeing increases in price over time because the supply has declined, so it’s offsetting a little bit of that revenue change for producers that are still in the industry,” Court said. “Revenue is declining at less of a downward trend than the production.”
When Hurricane Irma severely damaged Florida agriculture in 2017, UF/IFAS economists realized there wasn’t much information available about the impact of natural disasters on agriculture. That is why they started creating baseline information about citrus and other agricultural industries. “We really want to know where a particular industry was right before the disaster,” including prices received for crops, Court said.
Once a natural disaster hits, “we start collecting information as soon as the event has passed and it’s safe,” she added.