Florida farms face wrath of Hurricane Idalia

Sep 26, 2023

The peaceful and farm-rich Big Bend area in Florida faced a lot of trouble and damage when Hurricane Idalia hit. According to University of Florida (UF) economists, the agricultural sector experienced losses potentially reaching $370.9M. 

With the storm’s eye traversing through several counties, areas close to its center experienced the most destruction. The impact varied from minimal to significant, depending on each area’s proximity to the eye. 

A range of commodities, notably animal products, field crops, and nursery items, were heavily affected. The storm also led to significant damage to agricultural infrastructure, contributing substantially to the overall losses. 

Christa Court, part of UF’s Food and Resource Economics Department, highlighted the challenges in assessing such damage. However, she remained hopeful that data from Idalia would be pivotal for future evaluations. 

The Economic Impact Analysis Program (EIAP) combines multiple data sources to gauge agricultural losses accurately. As emphasized by Xiaohui Qiao from UF/IFAS, first-hand reports play a crucial role in painting a complete picture of the damages incurred. 

Agricultural producers are still contributing their data, with the survey remaining accessible. The community awaits a comprehensive final report, set to be released later this season, detailing the full extent of the losses. 

Source : wisconsinagconnection
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