Estimating Financial Losses to Vegetable Producers and Farmworkers from a Freeze Event

Fritz M. Roka, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Gene McAvoy

Abstract


The peak of southwest Florida’s vegetable growing season is from November to January. During that same period, vegetable growers face their greatest risks from cold temperatures and freezes. During early Jan. 2010, the region suffered a sustain period of cold weather with a major freeze occurring on 11 Jan. 2010. The freeze adversely affected more than 70 percent of the planted vegetable acreage. Financial losses were felt not only by growers and farmworkers, but also by the general, non-farming community. The objective of this study was to outline a methodology by which to estimate financial losses to growers, farmworkers, and the general public. Based on the methodology developed in this study, it was estimated that the 2010 freeze event created more than $197 million in financial losses. Grower losses accounted for more than 70%. Farmworkers lost nearly $36 million. The non-farm sector of southwest Florida incurred $89 million of lost economic activity. Efficient and accurate means of estimating financial losses from a freeze or other extreme weather event could assist public officials to apply for emergency aid and organize relief efforts for those most adversely affected.

Keywords


growers, enterprise budget, Southwest Florida

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283