The worst drought to hit Arkansas in nearly a half-century doesn’t have a price tag on it yet, but economists and the state’s agricultural community are bracing for the worst.
Rob Moritz with the Arkansas News Bureau reports on early predictions.
“It will work into billions (of dollars) before it’s over with,” Bobby Coats, an extension economist and professor with the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, said last week.
“This is an historic drought event. The impact is being felt all over,” he said.
As the record-setting drought continues in Arkansas and across much of the United States, a group of agriculture economists with the University of Arkansas began last week to try and quantify the overall economic impact of the drought on the state’s agriculture economy. Their report is expected to be completed by early September.
Last week, agriculture officials said the state’s cattle and poultry industries have probably suffered the most, so far, from the drought, though pork producers and row crop farmers are also feeling the financial heat.
As reported last week, there is federal assistance for companies and farmers directly affected by the drought. Also, federal help is available to companies indirectly impacted by drought conditions, including small business owners, manufacturing concerns, and even fireworks dealers.
Read more of Moritz’s report at this link.