TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Charles H. Bronson, commissioner of the Florida
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, announced Dec. 30 that the
executive order relaxing trucking restrictions so that farmers can transport
freeze-vulnerable crops has been extended. The order, which was set to
expire Dec. 31, has been extended for an additional seven days.
Mr. Bronson originally requested that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist issue the
emergency order Dec. 10 just prior to the freeze. In seeking this extension,
Mr. Bronson said that farmers need the additional time to continue harvesting
and transporting affected crops to processing and retail facilities before they
deteriorate. The extension will give the agriculture industry time to harvest
crops without overloading processing facilities, according to a department
Mr. Bronson has alerted organizations representing the state's agricultural
producers and trucking interests of the governor's action so they can load and
transport crops in accordance with the relaxed highway restrictions. Florida's
growers produce nearly all the nation's domestically produced fresh fruits and
vegetables during the winter, according to the release.