Ag News

Ian caused between $787 million and $1.56 billion in Florida ag damage

by Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Oct 26, 2022 at 0:00 AM

Hurricane Ian made landfall on the southwest coast of Florida on Sept. 28 and swept across the entire Florida peninsula, causing damage on more than five million acres of agricultural land on which more than $8 billion worth of crops and livestock are produced annually, according to a preliminary assessment of the state’s ag damage by the University of Florida. The assessment was published on Oct. 17.

The assessment listed total estimated agricultural losses between $786 million and $1.56 billion. The study’s authors provided ranges because of uncertainty surrounding percentage production losses in hardest-hit areas of the storm. The state’s vegetable and melon growers had the largest lost crop values, ranging from $208 million to $393 million. Citrus producers’ damage is estimated between $146 million and $304 million; horticulture producers’ damage is estimated between $153 million and $297 million; animal and animal product damage is estimated between $113 million and $221 million; field and row crops between $86 million and $160 million and non-citrus fruit and tree nuts between $78 million and $184 million.

These estimates are for crop and product losses and do not include value of stored inputs, started harvested products, or damage to infrastructure.

Approximately 60% of the farmland affected by the storm was grazing land. More than 700,000 acres were exposed to Category 4 hurricane conditions, and an addition 500,000 acres were affected by category 1-3 conditions.

Florida Farm Bureau has created a hurricane relief fund that will assist Florida farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Ian.

The Hurricane Ian Relief Fund for Agriculture will provide support for farm families statewide who have experienced a Hurricane Ian-inflicted agricultural-loss. All donations will be tax deductible.

Donors can make checks payable to:

Florida Farm Bureau Women’s Fund

Memo: Hurricane Ian Relief Fund for Agriculture

P.O. Box 147030 Gainesville, FL 32614

Online donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund can be made here.

For more information, contact

Meanwhile, estimates of Puerto Rico’s agricultural damage from Hurricane Fiona are estimated at $159 million, according to The Associated Press, mostly from what was termed historic flooding, as well as landslides. Fiona, which made landfall on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 18, wiped out fields of plantains, bananas and other crops. Consistent winds from the flattened young plantain and banana trees, which bend easily with sustained winds as low as 20 mph, the AP reported.

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