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Hurricane Irma: Florida forage losses assessed

Published on 10 October 2017

A financial assessment of Hurricane Irma’s impact on the Florida forage industry has been set at more than $60 million, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

As a result of flooding, many ranchers who lost forage crops will have to purchase additional hay and supplements to feed their animals during the coming winter. An estimated 45 additional feeding days (hay and supplement valued at $1.85 per day per head) for 601,250 beef cows will result in unexpected hay and supplement purchases valued at $50 million.

An estimated 150,000 acres of pasture experienced significant erosion and flood damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. Renovating these areas will cost around $40 per acre in replanting and related costs, for a total cost of $6 million.

Crop losses to dairy producers in Florida were estimated at $7.5 million.

Overall, Florida crop losses were estimated at over $2 billion, with total losses to production agriculture – including crop losses, debris cleanup, additional feed or harvest costs, damage to land, infrastructure and equipment – estimated at $2.56 billion.  end mark

—From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services news release

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