Ida agriculture damage at least $584M in Louisiana |


(AP) — Hurricane Ida’s winds and floods did at least $584 million in damage to agriculture in Louisiana, consultants at the LSU AgCenter estimate.

More than half of that — $315.9 million — is timber damage, with one other $207 million, or 35% of the overall, in damage to buildings, gear and different infrastructure, economist Kurt Guidry mentioned.

The estimate doesn’t embrace extreme damage to the seafood business, which will probably be estimated by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, based on an AgCenter information launch Thursday.

“This storm was a monster,” mentioned Thomas Hymel, an agent with the AgCenter and Louisiana Sea Grant. “It has just blown apart the supply chain, the infrastructure and the docks. Some of these places will take a long time to recover.”

Significant damages seem restricted to 21 parishes, Guidry wrote.

His whole consists of estimates for damages nonetheless to come back, together with probably elevated manufacturing prices and lowered yields for crops nonetheless in the sector.

Winds broken about 168,000 acres (680 sq. kilometers) of timber, the state’s most profitable crop, snapping pines and damaging hardwood timber in 11 parishes That accounts for greater than $300 million in damages, about half of it in Tangipahoa Parish, Guidry mentioned.

It’s onerous to salvage such timber earlier than illness and different issues make them unusable — only one% to 2% of timber felled by final yr’s hurricanes Laura and Delta could possibly be offered, AgCenter economists have estimated. In addition, their earlier report mentioned, a lot fallen timber floods the market, hurting costs and gross sales.

Guidry’s report was based mostly on data from agricultural extension brokers and commodity specialists round Louisiana, in addition to the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the U.S. Forestry Service.

He estimated $169.2 million in damage to farm buildings and gear, with one other $37.9 million in damage to fences.

Reduced yields on about 139,000 acres (56,250 hectares) of sugarcane is prone to price farmers about $35.4 million, he wrote. The acreage is about one-quarter of Louisiana’s whole and the probably damage about 7% of the overall annual worth, he mentioned.

Cane that was blown down can rise once more, however that makes use of vitality, leaving much less sugar at harvest, mentioned Renee Castro, an AgCenter space agent.

In addition, he mentioned, “Some of the leaves are shredded, the tops are brown and because of that, the ripener that they’re spraying on the cane at this time before harvest might not take.”

That may make harvests longer and harder, growing prices, Castro mentioned.

Hurricane damage and interruption and operations will harm some sugar mills, Guidry mentioned, although he didn’t have an estimate for that.

He estimated that Ida will price produce and decorative horticulture about $9.5 million, together with $5.9 million in damage to greenhouses and different infrastructure.