Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Birds Point crop loss estimated at $85 million

A new study sets a value for the loss of crop production from the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway levee breach. 

The University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, or FAPRI, estimates total losses come to $85.2 million. The total assumes no harvest in the floodway for the year 2011.

FAPRI associate director Scott Brown says that the total cost could be even higher when one takes into consideration loss of economic activity for Mississippi and New Madrid County’s laborers, farm suppliers, and agriculture-related industries.

“Using some implant estimates available to us, we would have suggested that $85.2 million loss in value production would have amounted to about $157 million when you think about the indirect and induced effects on the economy in those two counties,” Brown said.

However crop insurance and federal government assistance program will help alleviate some of the losses.

“When you add all these things together - value production, lost variable cost, and then the government payments to help offset that - we come to about $42.6 million,” Brown said.

Farmers are trying to put crops in the ground, so Brown cautions that the year may not be a total loss and his figures could change with time.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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