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Lime shortage traces back to Hurricane Andrew

Time magazine released a story today that discussed the shortage of limes in the US this year.  Currently 97% of  limes are produced in Mexico, but this year have been suffering from bad weather, disease and other factors, reducing supply.  In the story, which you can find here, the history of lime production shows a movement from south Florida to Mexico following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which devastated lime orchards near Homestead, FL.  Orchards in Florida were reestablished after the storm only to suffer a new blow due to the appearance of citrus canker.  Mexican orchards near Veracruz were established during this period and thrived due to cheaper land and labor costs.

The story says that limes are the most “cold tender” of citrus trees.  If recent warming trends in the Southeast continue, citrus producers in south Florida might find it economically profitable to start growing limes again.