U.S.: Florida ag damages from Irma estimated at US$2.5B
Florida Agricultural Commissioner Adam H. Putnam has announced preliminary agricultural damages caused by Hurricane Irma could reach a total of more than US$2.5 billion.
Economic assessments carried out by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services account for current crop losses and ancillary losses - such as debris cleanup, damaged infrastructure, and animals' long-term welfare.
This initial report will change as new information becomes available, and it is not representative of any specific funding request, the entity said.
Damage to the citrus sector is estimated to be US$761 million and for the rest of the fruit and vegetable industry it is US$180 million.
“Florida agriculture took it on the chin as Hurricane Irma pummeled the state, and the $2.5 billion in agricultural damages is only an initial assessment," he said.
"We're likely to see even greater economic losses as we account for loss of future production and the cost to rebuild infrastructure. We're going to do everything within our power to support Florida agriculture as it recovers from Hurricane Irma's devastation."
The estimated economic agricultural damages according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' preliminary report are as follows:
- Total Florida agriculture: $2,558,598,303.
- Citrus: $760,816,600
- Beef Cattle: $237,476,562
- Dairy: $11,811,695
- Aquaculture: $36,850,000
- Fruits and Vegetables (excluding citrus): $180,193,096
- Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture: $624,819,895
- Sugar: $382,603,397
- Field crops: $62,747,058
- Forestry: $261,280,000
The estimates included in the preliminary report are based on data obtained from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, the UF-IFAS “Impacts of Hurricane Irma on Florida Agriculture: Update #4 Report,” UF-IFAS crops budgets, Timber Damage Estimates prepared by the Florida Forest Service, and early surveys the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.