There is so much that is changing, has already changed, as a result of the extreme weather events that have affected the United States. Here’s a trend of which you might not even be aware.
Hurricane Irma plundered Florida’s orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.
It could even be the knockout blow for a product — orange juice — that has been slipping in popularity among Americans, although the beverage still ranks as the country’s favorite “fruit.”
The most recent estimates of the widespread damage to Florida’s orange trees put the statewide losses as high as 70 percent. That could lead to orange shortages, price hikes and, for farmers, lost harvests — all on top of a debilitating plant disease called citrus greening and a long-term national decline in orange juice consumption.
“Significant is not the right word,” said Shannon Shepp, the executive director of the growers’ group Florida Department of Citrus, describing the damage to Florida’s orange juice industry. “It’s somewhere between …