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— The estimated crop loss for the rain-damaged 2009 harvest so far has risen to $309 million, not including lost wages of about $83 million due to the decline in nearly 3,000 full-and parttime agriculture-related jobs, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture said.

The estimate, which provides a weekby-week snapshot of crop conditions, is compiled by U of A Division of Agriculture economists, and is based on data from USDA, National Agricultural Statistical Service, current marketing prices, quality loss estimates from local elevators, and yield loss and additional fieldwork from University of Arkansas extension specialists.

In addition to the decline in full- and part-time jobs, the report also shows a decline of nearly $162 million in economic value-added, which encompasses soy, corn and rice processing, cotton ginning and reduced household spending by Arkansans whose incomes are tied to agriculture.

“The loss from crop damage is estimated for three activities,” Eric Wailes, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness, said. “First, crop damage results in less farm revenue, which is estimated to reduce farm-householdspending for consumer goods and services.

“Second, since crop output is reduced, there are fewer grains and oil seeds to process,” he said. “This reduces milling and processing activity, which in turn has negative impacts on the transportation, wholesale and many other industries that supply goods and services to the processing industries.”

Some of the $309 million in direct losses because of poor quality, yield loss and fieldwork, “have been offset by rises in commodity prices as markets have responded to the NASS Crop Progress and Condition reports that have indicated declining crop conditions,” Wailes said. “Cotton and sorghum are estimated to have experienced the largest negative impact per acre but total loss is greatest for soybeans and cotton.”

Grass Hay - Hay producers have lost an estimated $7.8 million from poor conditions throughout the growing season.

The report was created by Wailes, Wayne Miller, professor of agricultural economics, Scott Stiles, instructor of agricultural economics; Brad Watkins, associate professor of agricultural economics; and Jeffrey Hignight, a program associate at the Rice Research and Extension Center in Stuttgart.

The report is available at http://division.uaex.edu/.

News, Pages 7 on 11/25/2009

Print Headline: Crop-loss estimates continue to climb

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