Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced that estimated agricultural damages due to Hurricane Michael total nearly $1.5 billion, with the timber industry bearing the brunt of the devastation at $1.3 billion in economic losses.
“Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, and many of Florida’s rural communities, which rely heavily on agriculture, took the worst hit. As we continue to rebuild, we must prioritize rural economic development programs at the local, state and federal levels,” stated Putnam.
The estimated economic agricultural damages according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ preliminary report are as follows:
- Total Florida agriculture: $1,481,843,193
- Forestry: $1,289,023,465
- Cotton: $49,877,183
- Cattle: $43,319,925
- Peanuts: $23,049,369
- Nurseries and Floriculture: $16,117,366
- Poultry and Eggs: $10,026,000
- Vegetables: $8,613,841
- Other Field Crops: $7,282,946
- Dairy: $6,435,000
- Aquaculture: $5,000,887
- Fruits: $4,356,663
- Tree Nuts (including pecans): $4,089,676
- Apiary: $1,960,000
This report summarizes estimated crop losses and total losses for each commodity group. Crop losses include: reduced agricultural sales due to wind or flood induced product losses, decreased yields, spoiled product and dead livestock. Total losses include crop losses in addition to ancillary losses experienced by producers, such as: debris cleanup, additional feed or harvest costs, damage to land, infrastructure and equipment.
These estimates are based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services reports on crop damage from Hurricane Michael, timber damage estimates prepared by the Florida Forest Service, and individual assessment surveys the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted with industry leaders and individual producers. These are early estimates, and the total agricultural economic losses resulting from Hurricane Michael may change.