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Florida agricultural and marine industries take hit from COVID-19, says UF/IFAS survey

In this March 28, 2020, photo, a pile of ripe squash sits in a field, in Homestead, Fla. Thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables grown in Florida are being plowed over or left to rot because farmers can't sell to restaurants, theme parks or schools nationwide that have closed because of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this March 28, 2020, photo, a pile of ripe squash sits in a field, in Homestead, Fla. Thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables grown in Florida are being plowed over or left to rot because farmers can't sell to restaurants, theme parks or schools nationwide that have closed because of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(WHSV)
Published: May. 20, 2020 at 12:55 PM CDT
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New numbers show agricultural and marine industries are taking a huge hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Florida and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences held a virtual news conference Tuesday to reveal the findings of a month-long survey conducted with members of the agricultural and marine industries in Florida.

Almost every marine industry lost revenue according to the survey’s results. Andrew Ropicki, an assistant professor specializing in marine resource economics, noticed that despite this decrease, some businesses relatively fared better.

“We did have a few businesses in the marine recreational support category that are doing better than an average year, but it was just a small number as you can tell by the fact that our average was a 42 percent decrease in revenue,” Ropicki said.

In response to the industry’s loss in revenue, the U.S. The Department of Commerce allocated $300 million for fisheries provided by the CARES Act on May 10.

For a full in-depth look at the results of the survey, tune in to What’s Growing On with AJ Willy Thursday night. There, he’ll talk with a local watermelon farmer about the impacts of COVID-19 on his industry.

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