The Economic Impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Agricultural Sector.
Kurt Guidry, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Louisiana State Uuniversity, 101 Agricultural Administration Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5604
Within a month’s time span, Louisiana had to address the impacts of two Category 4 hurricanes. While often overshadowed by the devastation caused in New Orleans, the impacts were just as great to many of the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries sectors in state. High winds, rains, and flooding had both short term and long term impacts on several of the state’s agricultural sectors. This presentation will discuss the magnitude of the economic impacts caused to the agricultural industry in the state and in Mississippi (if the data from Mississippi can be obtained). A description of the process utilized in collecting data and calculating economic estimates will be discussed, along with the special issues related to these storms that created special challenges in developing those estimates. Finally, the presentation will address some of the longer term impacts of the storm to the agricultural industry as well as some of the LSU AgCenter’s efforts in assisting producers attempt to recover from the storms.