Farmers May See Losses of $2 Billion

U.S. farmers and agricultural producers may see losses of as much as $2 billion from Hurricane Katrina, as estimates of damage to crops, farms and exports rise from the natural disaster.

Direct damage to crops and livestock may exceed $1 billion, said Terry Francl, chief economist at the American Farm Bureau, which represents about 5 million farmers. Another $1 billion may be lost from delayed exports of corn and soybeans and soaring fuel prices, he said.

The Farm Bureau said considerable damage was done to sugar cane, cotton, soybean and corn crops in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. However, it said the storm's effect on farm production and prices nationwide "will likely be negligible in light of strong harvests elsewhere."

In Mississippi, which supplies almost 10% of U.S. poultry, chicken producers have been hurt by fuel shortages, power outages and road blockages caused by the storm, National Chicken Council spokesman Richard Lobb said.

Source: Bloomberg via LA Times
calendar icon 9 September 2005
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