Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Florida's sugarcane harvest a huge success this year

Susan Salisbury at The Palm Beach Post with this story titled, "Sugar cane season blessed by near-perfect weather":
     Florida’s sugar cane harvest is winding down, with two of the state’s three companies completing their harvests and reporting a bumper crop. Most of the cane is grown in western Palm Beach County. [emphasis added]
     The Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, headquartered in Belle Glade, had the third-largest crop in its 53-year history due to nearly ideal growing conditions, spokeswoman Barbara Miedema said Monday.
     “We did not have a significant freeze or too much rain.We didn’t have a drought. We had perfect sunshine during peak growing season,” Miedema said.
The history of sugarcane in Palm Beach County is a very interesting and rich one. However, no one single event in history had more impact on the industry than Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba in 1959. Here is an article from 1987 about one Cuban family that Fidel Castro forced into exile, you might have heard the name before: Fanjul.

As this brief history article concisely explains when Fidel Castro nationalized the Cuban sugarcane fields the United States had no option but to increase domestic production. You can draw your own conclusions vis-à-vis the current discussion on Everglades restoration, water quality, and property rights; however the events in 1959, 56 years ago, are vital in understanding how we've gotten to this point in time in south Florida.