Hurricane Laura Damages Louisiana Agriculture, Forestry

Hurricane Laura caused just over $525 million in damage to Louisiana farmers and $1.1 billion in damage to the Louisiana timber industry, according to preliminary estimates by the Louisiana State University AgCenter.

Don Molino (Voice of Louisiana Agriculture Radio Network, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) reports that Laura devastated 757,538 acres of timber from the southwest to northeast parts of the state. In comparison, agricultural losses — including forestry, crops, and fisheries — from Hurricane Katrina, along with Hurricane Rita in 2005, totaled $1.5 billion.

Calcasieu Parish in far southwest Louisiana had the highest forestry acreage damage total of 188,292 aces, but the lost timber value was guesstimated at $76.7 million.

Most of the agricultural losses involved infrastructure damage. Reduced production resulted in $48.4 million in losses, stored commodity losses at $6.9 million, livestock losses at $1.4 million, increased crop production costs of $6.7 million, and infrastructure damage of $462 million.

Molino added most of the damage came from winds of 150 miles an hour and not flooding.