NEW YORK — Hurricane Ida negatively impacted an estimated 118,000 acres (478 square kilometers) of sugarcane crops in Louisiana, or about 26% of the crop that would be harvested for sugar production in the state, according to a preliminary report released on Tuesday.
The projection, produced by the Louisiana State University (LSU) and the industry group Sugar League, says that the area hit by the storm will have agricultural yield losses ranging from 16% to as high as 29%.
Louisiana is the second largest sugarcane producing state in the United States after Florida. Sugar produced from cane accounts for roughly 43% of the total sugar produced in the country, with the rest coming from sugar beet processing, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
The report said that there were no serious damage to mills’ infrastructure, however, and that there is no expectation for any delays to the start of the crushing season in some weeks’ time.
Based on current prices for sugar, the researchers see a loss of $59 million to the sugar sector in the state, considering both the field losses and the lost sugar production.
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and PJ Huffstutter Editing by Marguerita Choy)