Florida officials relax
due to freezing temps
Jan 8, 2010 8:57 AM
In response to unusually frigid temperatures menacing the state’s produce industry, Florida Gov Charlie Crist has signed an order temporarily easing weight, height, length, and width restrictions for commercial vehicles transporting perishable crops to processing sites.
Charles H Bronson, Florida agricultural commissioner, requested Crist to issue the executive order relaxing trucking size and weight restrictions. The order took effect January 5 and will remain in place for 14 days.
The cold weather “has created a serious situation for our state’s agricultural producers, who now must rush to harvest their crops to prevent further losses,” Bronson said in a statement.
Florida farmers are trying to rescue millions of dollars worth of crops as cold conditions were expected to continue through this weekend. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures expected in the mid-20s Saturday night into Sunday morning and again the next night.
Bartow FL recorded a 28-degree reading that tied a record set in 1919, the Weather Service said. Temperatures fell to lows of 27 degrees in Winter Haven, 29 degrees in Lake Alfred, 30 degrees in Frostproof, and 35 degrees in Plant City.
The Florida cold snap’s effects are also being experienced in Canada. The price of fresh produce has climbed there, and more increases are anticipated. About 10% of Florida’s harvest of fruits and vegetables is transported to Canada.
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