A preliminary estimate released Wednesday by state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam places damage to Florida’s agriculture industry from Hurricane Irma at more than $2.5 billion.
“Florida agriculture took it on the chin as Hurricane Irma pummeled the state, and the $2.5 billion in agricultural damages is only an initial assessment,” Putnam said in releasing the initial report. “We’re likely to see even greater economic losses as we account for loss of future production and the cost to rebuild infrastructure. We’re going to do everything within our power to support Florida agriculture as it recovers from Hurricane Irma’s devastation.”
The preliminary economic report estimates losses for each area of agriculture and accounts for current crop losses. It also factors in ancillary costs, such as debris removal, damage to infrastructure, and the long-term well being of animals.
The citrus industry took the biggest hit from Irma with damage estimated to be nearly $761 million. The state’s greenhouse and nursery industry sustained almost $625 million in losses, followed by the sugar industry with $383 million.
The estimated economic agricultural damages as listed by the state Agriculture Department in its preliminary report include:
- Total Florida agriculture: $2,558,598,303.
- Citrus: $760,816,600
- Beef Cattle: $237,476,562
- Dairy: $11,811,695
- Aquaculture: $36,850,000
- Fruits and Vegetables (excluding citrus): $180,193,096
- Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture: $624,819,895
- Sugar: $382,603,397
- Field crops: $62,747,058
- Forestry: $261,280,000
Commissioner Putnam says the cost of Irma to Florida’s agriculture industry will likely change as new information becomes available.
The estimates included in the preliminary report are based on data obtained from various state and federal agricultural services, as well as from early surveys the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducted with industry leaders and individual producers.