Pat Guinan has been working overtime lately – not just recording record rainfalls and monitoring Missouri's Automated Weather Station Network, but compiling data about the most significant weather event to hit Missouri's agriculture industry in years.
"The Easter Freeze of 2007 will go down as a historical event with lingering effects for years to come" says the climatologist for the University of Missouri Commercial Agriculture Program. "The magnitude of the hard freeze is nothing short of amazing considering all 114 counties in Missouri were affected. When including all the economic impacts of this event on agriculture and horticulture and the far-reaching impacts on communities as a whole, the April freeze will likely rank as one of the most costliest natural disasters on record for Missouri."
Pat Guinan, MU Extension climatologist.
According to preliminary cost estimates from various agricultural and horticultural experts contacted by Guinan, the losses incurred from the April freeze exceed $400 million in Missouri. This estimate does not include supplementary losses experienced by small nurseries, retail garden centers, farmers markets, and gardeners.
Estimates for agricultural losses in Missouri include:
Forage crops (alfalfa, grass mix hay, pasture) - $300 million
Winter wheat crop - $74.7 million
Corn crop - More than 200,000 acres of corn replanted in Bootheel region.
Fruit orchard (apple, peach, blueberry, blackberry, strawberry) crops - $21.8 million loss (90-100% crop loss)
Pecan crop - $3.74 million (80% crop loss).
Vineyard grapes –-$2 million (50-60 % crop loss).