AgCenter estimates ag, forestry losses from Hurricane Laura exceed $1.6 billion

Louisiana

CROWLEY, La. (LSU AgCenter) – Hurricane Laura caused $525.4 million in damage to Louisiana farmers and $1.1 billion to the Louisiana timber industry, according to preliminary estimates by the LSU AgCenter.

Laura devastated 757,538 acres of timber from the southwest to northeast parts of the state, according to a report by AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry and AgCenter forestry specialist Michael Blazier.

In comparison, agricultural losses — including forestry, crops and fisheries — from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 totaled $1.5 billion.

Laura’s $1.6 billion total in losses for Louisiana agriculture will likely increase when damage estimates for the fisheries industry are completed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The damage in 2005 and this year are different, Guidry said. Laura was more of a wind event, while Katrina and Rita brought flooding along coastal Louisiana. Infrastructure damaged by wind was the big factor this year, and crops were not as affected this year as in 2005.

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