Thursday, March 16, 2017

Agriculture damages from wildfire estimated at about $21 million

Early estimates of agricultural losses due to the recent wildfires are $21 million, but that could change as producers make final reports of their actual damages in the coming weeks, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. “The assessment of acreage burned is about all we have a good estimate on at this time,” said Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo. “There are a lot of losses, and we just don’t know all of them at this time.” Based on current information, Amosson said the loss estimate of $21 million does not account for any loss of equipment. The basic categories considered are: lost pasture, $6.1 million; fence repair or replacement, $6.1 million; buildings and corrals lost, $3.8 million; livestock death losses, $4 million; and emergency hay and feed, $1 million.“Every individual rancher will weather these losses differently, depending on what their financial position was at the time of the fire,” Amosson said. “If they had large losses and already had a marginal financial position then it could put them out of business, but in most cases it will just create more financial stress for them, and they will keep ranching.” For many ranchers, little insurance money will come into play, he said. “Typically, not much is insured except for ranch houses, sometimes major buildings and once in awhile the cattle,” Amosson said...more

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