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Florida growers brace for more cold weather

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson is alerting the state's agricultural producers that more freezing weather is expected this week that could impact crops as far south as the Lake Okeechobee area.

Florida is at the peak of harvest season for many fruits and vegetables. Crops at risk include citrus, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, snap beans, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggplant, endive/escarole, peppers, radishes and squash, tropical fish and horticulture.

Bronson is also reminding agricultural producers that an Executive Order remains in effect through Feb. 11 that directs the state Department of Transportation to relax the weight, height, length and width restrictions for commercial vehicles transporting vulnerable crops to processing sites. Following Bronson's request, Governor Charlie Crist extended the original Executive Order that was issued in mid-January.

"Our state's growers are continuing the speedy harvest of their products to help prevent or reduce crop losses," Bronson said. "Florida's growers produce nearly all of our nation's domestically produced fresh fruits and vegetables during the winter months.

Consumers all across the United States count on Florida's farmers to provide them with fresh produce in the dead of winter."

For more information about the weight, height, length and width restrictions for vehicles transporting crops on Florida's highways, visit http://www.Florida-Agriculture.com.

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