As Hurricane Dorian threatens landfall at Florida’s east coast, UF/IFAS Extension agents are getting ready to assess the ag damage in the aftermath.

Hurricane Dorian is bearing down on Florida’s east coast, threatening damage to homes and businesses alike. Those in the ag industry know the damage a major hurricane can do to crops, field and groves, livestock, and structures all too well. As Florida growers and producers brace for landfall, UF/IFAS Extension agents across Florida are preparing to take stock of ag damage once the storm has passed, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

Assessing Damage from Hurricane Dorian

Saqib Mukhtar, associate dean for agricultural programs with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, said “While at this time, the exact strength and landfall location of Dorian are unknown, UF/IFAS Extension agents and specialists are ready and committed to support Florida’s agricultural and natural resources-based industries.”  UF/IFAS Extension agents look at both crop and livestock losses. A total of 21 counties are undergoing prep for assessing damage after the storm, due to the variable nature of the storm’s path.

According to the article, “Crop and livestock production, forestry and fishing in the 21-county region generated more than $4.22 billion in revenues and directly supported more than 63,000 jobs in 2017,” and includes almost 750,000 acres in agricultural production and over 500,000 head of beef and dairy cattle.

Christa Court, an economist and director of the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, said that “In terms of dollar value, the region’s biggest industries, in descending order, are fruit farming, including citrus and non-citrus fruits; support activities for agriculture and forestry; production of nursery, greenhouse and floriculture crops; vegetable and melon farming; beef cattle ranching; and dairy cattle and milk production.”

According to the article, “UF/IFAS Extension agents will fan out across their home territories after the storm, interviewing operations managers and property owners to obtain firsthand estimates of crop losses, which are then used by the Economic Impact Analysis Program to estimate the total agricultural losses for the impacted region.” Those estimates will be shared with state and federal officials charged with developing disaster relief efforts.

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.