The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is only in the early stages of assessing the financial impact of the 10 days of freezing temperatures earlier in the month, which affected crops in most of the state. Department spokeswoman Liz Compton, in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee on January 19, 2010, said that the total impact was likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Preliminary loss estimates include total damage of more than $100 million in Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee counties, primarily because of the loss of tomato and pepper crops. An industry source estimated that up to 70 percent of the tomato crop may have been lost statewide. Losses to the tropical fish industry may have exceeded $20 million. According to reports from growers, citrus losses may have been as low as 10 percent or less.
Ms. Compton told the committee that it may take several weeks before the department is able to compute accurate loss totals.