Hurricanes Could Greatly Impact the Produce Supply Chain in the US This Fall

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The ongoing 2020 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 to November 30) has seen an unprecedented rate of tropical cyclone formation. With 23 named storms, it is already the second most active Atlantic hurricane season on record and we are only about half-way through the peak from mid-August to late October.

While no named storms are currently heading to Florida, the ongoing season bears monitoring, particularly as farmers in California, the top vegetable producing state, are dealing with their own climate-related woes. 

Strong winds and heavy rainfall can harm crops that lie in the path of a hurricane. Florida’s citrus industry gambles with the fall hurricane season every year. Hurricanes can knock down ripening fruit, uproot trees, and flood citrus groves. As US citrus growers approach harvest, storms headed to Florida could greatly reduce the state’s production potential.  

Click here to view US orange prices

Florida is also a key source of tomatoesbell peppersgreen beansmushrooms, and cucumbers in late fall and winter months. If a hurricane makes landfall during the early stages of the crop’s growth, whole fields could be disrupted.  

2020 has been fraught with its fair share of climate volatility. In the US alone we’ve witnessed flooding, drought, a wind storm, wildfires, extreme heat, frosts, and an extremely active hurricane season. Weather significantly impacts produce supply, and therefore prices, so it is important to monitor for supply side hiccups. Even when the country isn’t facing both a pandemic and severe weather anomalies, prices for fresh produce are more volatile than for any other commodity product.  

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

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