Louisiana Flooding to Cost State’s Agriculture $110 Million

Randall Weiseman Cattle, Field Crops, General, Livestock, Weather

Picture from LSU Ag Center

Picture from LSU Ag Center

Torrential rains that recently caused historic flooding in south Louisiana will cost the state’s agriculture industry at least $110 million. The Louisiana State University AgCenter says that figure is expected to grow as farmers realize the full extent of flood damage.

Further, normal seasonal rains are likely to slow floodwaters receding. Many factors – including crop yield and quality reductions, increased production costs, infrastructure damage and loss of stored commodities – are not immediately clear.

LSU officials say the state’s soybean crop will likely take the hardest hit, with about $46 million in yield losses expected. Yield reductions will cost the Louisiana rice industry about $33 million. At least $3 million worth of sugarcane will have to be replanted. Corn-producing areas did not receive heavy flooding damage, although wet field conditions have delayed harvest, which can cause plants to fall over and grains to sprout. Those issues could cost corn farmers $10 million.

Finally, the University says it is not yet clear how many livestock deaths the flood caused. However, reduced pasture resources and forage availability will cost livestock producers nearly $2 million.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters News Service)