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Battling Back

THE RECOVERY: Hail, heavy rain, tornadoes, winds, drought, and blistering heat. They can unleash a fury that can destroy a life’s work of dedication for farmers and ranchers. 28 times in 2023 a weather event caused at least $1 billion in damage, according to an extensive report from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

No state suffered more losses than Texas, where drought and excessive heat torched cotton, wheat, forage, and rangeland. Damages, according to the AFBF, totaled $4.8 billion. Last year was the second straight that Texas suffered more losses than anywhere else in the country.

Wheat and soybeans look a hit in Kansas. Hail pelted crops in Nebraska. Hurricane Idalia washed away fruits, nuts, and vegetables in Florida. Grape and table grape losses mounted in California. Extreme flooding took a toll in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

The total U.S. crop and rangeland losses topped $21.9 billion, the report found. The report also points out that this number does not include all the financial suffering. Livestock, infrastructure, and timber also felt the brunt of storms.

Overall, it underscored the importance for Congress to agree on a new Farm Bill to better protect farmers, ranchers, and investors in the years ahead.


American Farmland Owner Hayfields mountains


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