Hurricane Ida caused more than $500M in damage to Louisiana's agriculture

Hurricane Ida caused more than $500M in damage to Louisiana's agriculture
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Hurricane Ida caused more than $500 million in damage to Louisiana’s agriculture, LSU's AgCenter estimates

Experts at the center say there has been at least $584 million in damage to the agriculture industry following the Category 4 hurricane hitting the state last month.

Economist Kurt Guidry said about half of the damage is to timber, the state’s top-grossing agriculture commodity. 

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There were 168,000 acres affected by the winds from the hurricane causing an estimated more than $300 million.

“There is a short window that downed timber must be salvaged before disease and other quality impacts essentially makes this timber unmarketable,” the report says. 

“Also, typically when a weather event such as this occurs, the amount of timber that becomes available to the market can overwhelm the market, impacting both the prices received as well as the ability to sell timber,” it added.

Along with the timber, 35 percent of damage is estimated by Guidry to be from infrastructures losses such as equipment. 

Sugarcane, horticulture and livestock were also affected by the hurricane with sugarcane hit with $35 million in damage and horticulture seeing $9.5 million in damage. 

Livestock losses are currently very low with only 22 livestock deaths recorded so far. 

The overall dollar amount in damage also includes estimates for future cost on production and reduced yield in crops from the storm.