The San Diego County Department of Agriculture has set the preliminary damage figures from all the fires the week of Oct. 22 to be in excess of $42 million for agriculture. Of that total, about $15 million is specific to ornamental horticulture.
These totals are specific to crops and do not include irrigation systems, equipment or buildings. In ornamentals dollar wise, trees and shrubs sustained the most damage–$7,258,290.8 on 185 acres. Cut flowers sustained the most damage acreage wise, ecompassing nearly 230 acres and more than $5.2 million worth of damage. Indoor flowering potted and foliage plants represented $2,149,890.4 in damage on just 5 acres.
|Total–All Fires in San Diego County|
|Commodity||Acres Damaged||Estimated Dollar Loss|
|Cut Christmas Tree||8.5||$92,184.2|
|Indoor Flowering & Foliage||5.0||$2,149,890.4|
|Ornamental Trees & Shrubs||185.0||$7,258,290.8|
SOURCE: Dawn Nielsen Deputy Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures
Visitors to farms in the damage areas last week included Gov. Schwarzenegger, CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura, and Calif. Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar. It still remains unclear what aid will be available to farmers beyond the state and federal loan programs for those who cannot obtain traditional financing. We are getting word that there is a lot of talk in Washington DC about an aid package for farmers, but have nothing concrete to report. Advice to all growers who were damaged is to keep exacting records of any recovery expenses. The latest resource information can always be found at www.sdfarmbureau.org.
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