UF economists estimate greenhouse losses from Hurricane Ian at $195.4 million

After months of gathering and analyzing knowledge, College of Florida economists have refined the estimate of agricultural losses as a result of Hurricane Ian: $1.03 billion.

This quantity is an estimate of the entire worth of seasonal crops, livestock, nursery, and aquaculture merchandise that won’t be harvested or marketed because of the class 4 storm. Hurricane Ian made landfall on an island 20 miles west of Fort Myers on September 28, 2022, and introduced damaging winds and flooding to tens of millions of acres of agricultural lands because it swept throughout the Florida peninsula.

The UF/IFAS Financial Impression Evaluation Program (EIAP) revealed its detailed report, “Estimated Agricultural Losses Ensuing from Hurricane Ian.” This report follows up on a preliminary evaluation launched on October 18, 2022, that estimated between $787 million and $1.56 billion in losses.

A portion of the $1.03 billion loss estimate could be offset by insurance coverage or different threat administration instruments out there to producers, mentioned Christa Courtroom, director of the EIAP and an assistant professor within the UF/IFAS meals and assets economics division.

“For instance, if a grower was anticipating to reap $10 million in crops this yr and the storm destroyed $6 million value, we report a $6 million loss. That farmer may recoup a few of that by way of insurance coverage, however we do not have a great way of accounting for that in our estimates,” Courtroom defined.

The most recent report breaks down the $1.03 billion in closing estimated losses by commodity group:

  • Citrus: $247.1 million
  • Greens and melons: $204.6 million
  • Greenhouse and nursery: $195.4 million
  • Non-citrus fruit: $137.7 million
  • Discipline and row crops: $130.2 million
  • Livestock and animal merchandise: $119.8 million

The 5 counties with the best agricultural losses embody:

  • Manatee: $126.4 million
  • Hillsborough: $104.4 million
  • Palm Seaside: $88.8 million
  • Hardee: $72.5 million
  • Hendry: $72.0 million

Courtroom defined that whereas this report presents a clearer image of Hurricane Ian’s impacts on Florida’s agriculture, it doesn’t embody prices related to asset damages or manufacturing losses that may happen in future seasons.

“For instance, we’re not capable of measure issues corresponding to the price of repairing or changing broken constructions or tools, replanting perennial crops or changing livestock,” Courtroom mentioned.

Courtroom identified that Hurricane Ian’s impacts on Florida’s agriculture have been additional compounded by Hurricane Nicole and exhausting freezes that occurred in January 2022 and December 2022.

“The identical areas affected by Ian have been hit, in some instances, by a number of climate occasions that every would have affected the agricultural yield on their very own in an odd yr,” Courtroom mentioned. “Our survey solely lined damages and losses from Hurricane Ian, so this report will not be a view of the entire influence to agricultural manufacturing of all 2022 occasions which have impacted the sector.”

Courtroom and her colleagues started accumulating baseline knowledge to measure agricultural losses and damages ensuing from tropical cyclone occasions in 2017. Since then, this system has continued to enhance its baseline and influence databases for most of these analyses.

“With our present strategies, we are able to higher analyze the general impacts of wind, rainfall, and flooding on agricultural lands,” mentioned Xiaohui Qiao, analysis assistant professor within the UF/IFAS meals and useful resource economics division and knowledge analyst for EIAP.

“Historically, knowledge on robust winds from hurricanes have been essentially the most accessible within the quick aftermath of a storm, which means that analyses centered on areas impacted by robust winds, however we all know that elements like heavy rainfall and flooding can even contribute to important crop and livestock manufacturing injury and losses. The identical storm can even trigger totally different experiences from one farm to the subsequent,” Qiao mentioned.

To reach at agricultural loss estimates, the UF/IFAS Financial Impression Evaluation Program makes use of a number of layers of knowledge gathered from a number of sources. The advanced course of contains overlaying the storm’s path, windspeeds, rainfall, and flooding with the acreage, worth, and seasonality of the agricultural commodities grown or raised within the counties affected by the storm. This overlay is mixed with details about how the occasion affected these commodities. Lastly, the economists refine their estimates utilizing survey responses submitted by agricultural producers and Florida Cooperative Extension school.

“We want to thank those that supplied and helped collect survey responses. Our work to report impacts from storms wouldn’t be potential with out their help,” Courtroom mentioned.

Supply: ifas.ufl.edu

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