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Agricultural summit to address flooding concerns

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Posted at 6:18 AM, May 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-04 13:42:02-04

At an international agricultural summit in West Palm Beach on Wednesday, farmers are expected to discuss flooding threats in Wellington and the Acreage.

A major concern for many Palm Beach County farmers is the aging culverts along Lake Okeechobee.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they're placing a 22-mile stretch of the county under a high risk for flooding.

The Corps says the culverts need to be replaced because they could leak or fail.  If that happens, residents and the environment could be in danger.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the culverts along Lake Okeechobee are the weakest link and process needs to be sped up.

"We certainly hope that it will remain on the top of the priority list for the Army Corps of Engineers, and Congress will accelerate the funding, so we're not having to wait another nine years to finish this job," said Putnam. 

A bright spot is that new technology has brought higher pay and more jobs to the area's agriculture industry.

Also at the summit, students from several elementary schools will learn about bee pollination and advanced robotics.

There will also be cooking demonstrations, live animals and multiple speakers.

The event will be held from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.