TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) released its preliminary damage assessment from Hurricane Ian, including the beef industry.
The statewide report found that cattle ranches had 250 dead animals following the storm and an estimated 257,194 were in stressful conditions as they awaited shipment out of Florida.
FDACS estimated that total losses for the beef industry were between $215.4 and $262 million.
“Beef cattle is one of Florida’s most important land uses, with more than 1.63 million animals grazing in approximately 6.1 million acres of pasture and woodlands, and annual sales of $475 million in 2019,” the state agency said in its assessment.
In Florida, there are more than 18,000 beef cattle ranches. The report said an estimated 5,822 ranches suffered significant damage to structures, fences and equipment. This also includes large storm debris that will need to be cleaned up in the next few months.
Hurricane Ian caused $1.2 billion to $1.9 billion in damage to the Florida agricultural economy, according to the full report by the FDACS.