March 6, 2023


AFBF: US suffered more than US$21 billion in crop losses due to extreme weather




2022 will go into the record books as the third-costliest year for weather disasters in US history, with an estimated US$165 billion in total economic losses, said the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).


In the agriculture sector, new analysis by AFBF economists in the latest Market Intel shows extreme weather caused more than US$21 billion in crop losses. The impact to US farms and ranches demonstrates the importance of farm bill programmes to help rural communities recover from weather-related disasters.


The Market Intel, part of AFBF's series on disaster losses, analyses and summarises total crop loss estimations across all major weather events for 2022, including hurricanes Fiona and Ian, the June 13 derecho that impacted several central US states and the ongoing drought affecting much of the Western US.


The Market Intel also analyses the coverage — and coverage gaps — provided by existing risk management programmes, such as crop insurance, as well as ad hoc disaster assistance like the Farm Service Agency's new Emergency Relief Program (ERP), previously known as the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program + (WHIP+).


According to the Market Intel, "Over $11 billion in losses were covered by existing Risk Management Agency programmes as of February 2022. Over US$10 billion in losses were not insured through RMA, existed outside policies' coverage levels, or did not qualify under an existing risk management programme," which highlights the importance of inclusive protections for growers of all crops in all regions of the United States.


"It's not hard to see why programmes like crop insurance and disaster coverage are vital to the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, and the stability of our country as a whole," said AFBF president Zippy Duvall. "Even a brief analysis of estimates from last year's disaster losses proves why a strong farm safety net is a necessity. When you have nature as a business partner, you need a strong support system to help put the pieces back together when the unexpected happens."


The full extent of damage across agriculture is likely far higher as crop loss estimates do not include infrastructure damage, livestock losses, horticulture crop losses or timber losses associated with the weather events.



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