Tracking Hurricane Ian and possible impact on ag operations

The storm also could hit the heart of citrus country, sugar cane fields, and impact cotton crops.

Farmers on Florida’s west coast are preparing their fields and families for Hurricane Ian.

Right now it looks like the Tampa Bay area will be hit sometime tomorrow afternoon. This could have a major impact on shipping. The Port of Tampa serves as the gateway to Latin America and is home to one of the world’s largest shrimp fleets.

The storm also could hit the heart of citrus country, sugar cane fields, and cotton crops.

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says that even producers outside the center of the storm need to be ready.
“Even areas beyond the scope of where the hurricane actually travels, outside of the track of the enter of the eye of the hurricane, there could be significant storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts as the system grows in size later this week,” Rippey explains.

Farmers need to continue adapting to changing weather trends. That is according to an ag weather and climate field specialist, who specifically points out temperature and precipitation patterns.

Spring and winter temperatures continue to trend warmer, impacting crops, along with planting and harvest windows. Precipitation in the spring and winter is also increasing, while summer rainfall is decreasing.
In an effort to change conditions, producers are implementing practices like controlled drainage structures, cover crops, and using species with more heat tolerance.