Hurricane Irma cost Florida agriculture $2.5 billion in damages, according to a recently released report.
In an initial report released Oct. 4, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services estimated losses for each segment of the state’s agriculture. The preliminary economic assessments account for current crop losses and ancillary losses, such as debris cleanup, damaged infrastructure, and animals' long-term welfare affected by Irma. This preliminary assessment will change as new information becomes available, and it is not representative of any specific funding request, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
“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. 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,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.
The estimated economic agricultural damages according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' preliminary report are:
- 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 conducted with industry leaders and individual producers.