Introduction Training Florida Home Front Floridian Service Impact on Florida
Florida on the Eve of War
Pearl Harbor and its Impact
Military Training in Florida
Aviation
Land Warfare
Amphibious
WAAC Training at Daytona Beach
The German Submarine Threat
Civil Defense & Patrols
Rationing & Government Effort
Scrap, Gardens & Kids' Activities
War Bonds & Women's Roles
Homegrown Armor: The Alligator
National Guard & State Guard
United States Army
Navy & Marines
Coast Guard
Army Air Force
Women on Duty
African Americans
War Heroes
War's Impact on Florida
Citrus Goes to War
Industry and War Products
Tourism During the War Years
The War Ends
How WWII Changed the State

War's Impact on Florida: Citrus Goes to War
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The Florida Citrus Commission began an advertising campaign popularizing the state's orange, grapefruit, and tangerine crops. Florida's citrus growers found increased demand for their product during World War II, with much of the orange crop going directly to the government for distribution to the armed forces. Processes for dehydrating citrus juice were developed during the conflict, enabling millions of cans to be sent around the world. Dr. L.G. McDowell of the Florida Citrus Commission and Dr. Arthur Stahl of the University of Florida were responsible for the development of a later frozen concentrate product, which came into full production after the war and was considered a vast improvement over the dehydrated version. Early in the war, the Florida citrus harvest surpassed that of California and soon became a $100 million industry. The 1945-1946 crop topped that of the 1940-1941 season by 29 million boxes of fruit.

Agriculture:

Agriculture was one of Florida's major economic contributions to the war effort, despite the fact that a shortage of agricultural workers threatened to limit Florida's harvests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture eventually authorized the temporary hiring of 75,000 foreign workers, mainly Bahamians and Jamaicans, to work in south Florida fields.

Cotton, tobacco, and vegetable production all increased during the war, and the Florida sugar crop became particularly important as foreign sources became unavailable. Chemists working in an Orlando laboratory for the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted experiments with dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, or DDT, which eventually was used widely as an insecticide to prevent disease and, by the conflict's end, to protect crops. Only years later would its harmful side effects be realized. While Florida agricultural production contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, it did so at a terrible cost, as farm workers often suffered through unhealthy and degrading living and working conditions.

Florida Remembers WWII
A group of Bahamian men shortly after their arrival in Florida, April 13, 1942 -- The U.S. government transported foreign workers to help with the harvest of agricultural crops -- (Historical Museum of Southern Florida)
 A group of Bahamian men shortly after their arrival in Florida, April 13, 1942
The U.S. government transported foreign workers to help with the harvest of agricultural crops
(Historical Museum of Southern Florida)
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