Farmers are fighting a losing battle against the Trump administration’s new restrictions on what can and cannot be grown on farm land.
The new restrictions have already shuttered more than half of the state’s farm facilities and have left hundreds of thousands of acres in Florida without fresh water.
They’re also causing headaches for local growers, who are now being forced to use a different growing process, a process that can lead to fewer bugs and higher yields.
Farmers say the new rules are just another attempt by President Donald Trump to hurt the country’s agricultural sector.
“It’s a sad day in Florida agriculture because we’ve been losing ground,” said Brian Brown, a state agricultural commissioner.
“We have to compete for business and it’s hurting our ability to grow a wide range of products.”
But for many Floridians, it’s not just the loss of their crops that is hurting.
“Our families are hurting,” said Stephanie Wills, a member of the farm workers union.
“This is just one more blow to our livelihoods.
We’re hurting, and I don’t think we’re going to recover from this.
I’m going to be out of work until I’m at least 90.
We are not going to survive this.”
It’s hard to tell what the impact will be on the farmers who still can get by on the land.
They work hard and are able to take time off to care for their families, but the restrictions are forcing them to change jobs, find new work or find new ways to earn extra money.
The rules, known as the “Farm Act,” are part of a plan by the Trump Administration to reduce the U.S. agricultural footprint by $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
Farmers will have to make difficult decisions about how to grow food in order to feed a growing population, including when to plant crops.
The Trump Administration also wants to reduce federal payments to farmers and to make it harder for farmers to sell their crops and grow a profit.
Some farmers are already struggling to find enough money to buy land.
In some parts of the Sunshine State, it costs $600 to buy an acre of land and the cost of water and fertilizer can run as high as $20 per acre, according to a recent study by the Florida Agricultural Research Institute.
Many farms have already struggled to stay afloat.
In the Tampa Bay area, some farms have lost over $50 million in the past few years, according the Tampa Tribune.
“The last few years are a total loss for Florida agriculture,” said Matt Pritchard, a Florida agricultural economist with the Florida Institute for Agricultural Research.
“Farmers are seeing the end of their careers.”
For farmers, the pain will be felt in the future, too.
“I’m not going anywhere.
I just want to live and work on my farm,” said Wills.
But if we’re not, then it’s just going to take a lot longer to get back.”