Hurricane Ian Impact in Florida and Food Price Index Up Slightly
**Scenes coming out of Florida in the wake of Hurricane Ian are all too familiar. Water everywhere. Trees down. Buildings demolished. Lives taken, uprooted and devastated.
According to Florida Farm Bureau Federation, farmers and ranchers are facing widespread destruction of crops, buildings, fencing and other property loss.
In the citrus belt, significant fruit fell from trees.
Even before the storm, Florida citrus production was expected to be down from the previous year.
**During COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, families flocked to pumpkin patches and other agritourism venues for outdoor activities.
Now growers and operators of pumpkin patches are trying to keep the crowds coming.
They’re getting help from the return of school groups. While overall attendance stayed strong during the pandemic, school tours largely vanished.
Now school bookings are back up to 80% to 90% of pre-pandemic levels, some farmers report.
**Almost a quarter of farm operations are run by principal
operators under 55 years old.
By comparison, according to www.agrimarketing.com, U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 63% of self-employed American workers in NONagricultural industries are younger than 55.
In 2020, midsize family farms, with a gross cash farm income under a million dollars, and off-farm income, had the largest percentage of farms managed by principal operators younger than 55 years, at 36% and 38% respectively.
**The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the food index up 0.8%, the same as August.
The food at home index rose 0.7% with all six major grocery food group indexes higher.
The index for fruits and vegetables rose 1.6%, while cereals and bakery rose 0.9%.
The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.4%, and dairy 0.3%.