Hurricane Florence Cost North Carolina Farmers An Estimated $1.1 Billion
Hurricane Florence caused more than a billion dollars in losses to one of North Carolina’s most important industries, according to the state's initial estimates.
In a press release issued Wednesday, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler put the figures for crop damage and livestock losses at $1.1 billion.
All but a fraction of that comes in the form of lost crops: things like sweet potatoes, tobacco and soybeans. Row crop losses alone totaled more than $986 million.
The rest is spread across the state’s other agricultural sectors, including forestry and livestock.
According to the agency, more than four million poultry birds and hogs were lost in the wake of the storm.
“We knew the losses would be significant because it was harvest time for so many of our major crops and the storm hit our top six agricultural counties especially hard,” Troxler said. “These early estimates show just what a devastating and staggering blow this hurricane leveled at our agriculture industry.”
This damage estimate easily exceeds the losses from Hurricane Matthew, which came in at around $400 million.