MU estimates floodway crop loss at $85 million

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- University of Missouri economists estimate about $85 million in potential crop value lost from blowing out the Birds Point levee on the Mississippi River.

The university's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute said Monday that the economic loss climbs to about $156.7 million when other economic changes are factored in. FAPRI estimated current-year plantings and potential yields based on U.S. Department of Agriculture records.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew up the Birds Point levee last month to reduce the flooding threat to Cairo, Ill. The levee breach flooded 130,000 acres and damaged or destroyed houses in southeastern Missouri.

Scott Brown, an economist with FAPRI, said the study applies to losses for the current year only and does not consider long-term impact or losses to infrastructure.

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