Economists narrow estimate of Hurricane Ian ag losses

Nearly five million acres of agricultural land were affected by category 4 storm.

February 14, 2023

2 Min Read
florida citrus hurricane ian.jpg
Florida Department of Citrus

After months of gathering and analyzing data, University of Florida economists have refined the estimate of agricultural losses from Hurricane Ian to $1.03 billion.

The number is an estimate of the total value of seasonal crops, livestock, nursery and aquaculture products that will not be harvested or marketed as a result of the category 4 storm.

The newly released UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program (EIAP) report, “Estimated Agricultural Losses Resulting from Hurricane Ian,” follows up on a preliminary assessment released Oct. 18, 2022, that estimated losses between $787 million and $1.56 billion.

Christa Court, director of the EIAP and an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS food and resources economics department, noted that a portion of the $1.03 billion loss estimate might be offset by insurance or other risk management tools available to producers.

“For example, if a grower was expecting to harvest $10 million in crops this year and the storm destroyed $6 million worth, we report a $6 million loss. That farmer might recoup some of that through insurance, but we don’t have a good way of accounting for that in our estimates,” Court explained.

According to the report, nearly five million acres of agricultural land were affected by Hurricane Ian, of which almost 62% was land of grazing land. The $1.03 billion in final estimated commodity losses includes:

  • Citrus: $247.1 million

  • Vegetables and melons: $204.6 million

  • Greenhouse and nursery: $195.4 million

  • Non-citrus fruit: $137.7 million

  • Field and row crops: $130.2 million

  • Livestock and animal products: $119.8 million

Court explained that while the report presents a clearer picture of Hurricane Ian’s impacts to Florida agriculture, it does not include costs associated with asset damages or production losses that might occur in future seasons.

“For example, we are not able to measure things such as the cost of repairing or replacing damaged structures or equipment, replanting perennial crops or replacing livestock,” Court said.

Court pointed out that Hurricane Ian’s impacts to Florida agriculture have been further compounded by Hurricane Nicole and hard freezes that occurred in January 2022 and December 2022.

“The same areas affected by Ian were hit, in some cases, by multiple weather events that each would have affected the agricultural yield on their own in an ordinary year,” Court said. “Our survey only covered damages and losses from Hurricane Ian, so this report is not a view of the total impact to agricultural production of all 2022 events that have impacted the sector.”



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