Unique Farming Challenges in Florida Part 2
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the natural beauty of Florida when browsing Florida ranches for sale. It’s difficult to compare Florida to other states, especially when you consider Florida’s agricultural industry, which produces more grapefruit and orange juice than any other state in the U.S.
Florida is undoubtedly a great place to live and farm, especially if you dislike cold weather, but it is important to acknowledge the challenges farmers in Florida face every time they start their tractors. In part one of this two-part guide, the land professionals at Saunders Real Estate examined the negative implications of hurricanes, pests, and diseases. In this second installment, we will continue to explore the challenges facing farmers in Florida.
Florida’s scorching climate is recognized throughout the United States. Although Florida’s sunny weather is perfect for spending the day at the beach, it it significantly less enjoyable when toiling in a field to plant new crops. Overheating and exhaustion are common amongst Florida’s agricultural workers, and it is imperative that anyone looking at farms or ranches for sale in Florida is physically and mentally prepared to deal with Florida’s high temperatures and stifling humidity.
Data from Florida’s Office of Vital Statistics (FOVS), gathered from 1979 to 1999, recorded 249 temperature-related casualties in Florida. It’s important to realize that high humidity combined with high temperatures creates considerably warmer conditions than what is listed on a thermometer. Florida has the highest average temperatures year round in the U.S. and it is the most humid, which means farmers need to be extremely careful while working. Heat also affects the health of animals and crops, too.
Shrinking Agricultural Industry
Another challenge facing Florida farmers is competition from competing markets outside of Florida. Recently, farmers were forced to crush their tomatoes into the dirt so flies and gnats weren’t attracted to the unsold, ripe fruit. Experts claim the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Everglades restoration, and urban development have made it difficult for Florida farmers to compete. When pitted against underpaid foreign workers who earn less than ten dollars a day, it can be very difficult for farmers to find buyers for their produce.
Florida’s farmers and ranchers are hardworking individuals who juggle many daily challenges to achieve success. Whether cultivating new orange groves or raising cattle for beef production, Florida farmers face a bevy of unique challenges rarely found outside of Florida. Putting up with these challenges is difficult, but the land professionals at Saunders Real Estate have the experience and knowledge to help you get the most out of your new property.