Preliminary Hurricane Losses to Agriculture in Florida

Cindy Zimmerman

Citrus trees downed by Hurricane Ian (UF/IFAS)

According to preliminary assessments by the University of Florida, the combination of seasonal crops, livestock, nursery and aquaculture products potentially lost as a result of Hurricane Ian will likely range between $787 million and $1.56 billion.

“This estimate only accounts for production losses, or changes in expected revenues for the current calendar or market year; citrus, for example, had not yet begun harvesting, and some fall vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers, were already planted,” said Christa Court, UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program director. “Our preliminary estimate is a range, a wide range, to account for many of these unknowns. What isn’t destroyed might have diminished yield or quality, which will not be apparent for weeks or months, and then even more effects can appear in the long-term.”

Despite heavy flooding prohibiting full assessments of some fields, the researchers collected some visual assessments that indicate what those larger impacts may be. Among their predictions:

Citrus crops are expected to sustain significant production losses ($147 million to $304 million), depending on the level of fruit drop, damage to branches, and impacts due to heavy precipitation and flooding.
Vegetables and melons are expected to sustain significant production losses ($208 million to $394 million), with impacts heavily dependent on the ability (or inability) to replant damaged or destroyed crops.
Livestock operations (beef and dairy cattle, horses, apiculture, etc.) and producers of animal products (milk, eggs, honey) are expected to suffer losses ($113 million to $222 million) due to damaged fencing, power outages and flooding.

Read the full report and listen to Court’s summary:
UF-IFAS Hurricane Ian damage estimate 7:42

Audio, Citrus, Livestock, Weather