COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Cotton farmers poised to harvest a bumper crop were the hardest hit when Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, with cattle industry losses following closely behind.
Texas A&M University AgriLife Extension Service economists announced Friday that Harvey’s total agriculture losses topped an estimated $200 million.
Half was cotton losses, while $93 million was in cattle that drowned and associated ranching infrastructure. Rice and soybean farmers suffered $8 million in losses.
Harvey sparked catastrophic flooding in counties home to 1.2 million beef cattle, a fourth of Texas’ herd — meaning ranching damages could have been worse.
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Hurricane Ike in 2008 caused $13.3 million in Texas cattle losses, $11 million in rice losses and $23-plus million in destroyed hay and fencing. Ike’s impact on state agricultural, seafood and forestry producers was nearly $435 million.