Across parts of the Midwest, hundreds of livestock are drowned or stranded; valuable unsold, stored grain is ruined in submerged storage bins; and fields are like lakes, casting doubt on whether they can be planted this year. These are especially cruel times for Nebraska and Iowa farmers who had to scrape money to keep going just eight years ago, when floods overtook their lands in 2011.
Bermudian re/insurance group AXIS Capital Holdings has announced a $198 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2018, driven by heavy attritional property and catastrophe activity. This $198 million Q4 net loss, with a 117.3% Combined Ratio (CR), compares to the $38 million net loss and 100.7% CR reported in 2017 for the same time period. Pre-tax catastrophe and weather-related losses were $92 million primarily attributable to Hurricane Michael and the California Wildfires in Q4, compared to $34 million in the same period in 2017.
A winegrape-growing region wracked by wildfires wants to learn more about the impact smoke has on grapes, while growers look to crop insurance and disaster relief to offset some of their losses. After the Mendocino Complex fire burned more than 459,000 acres of land in Lake and Mendocino counties last year, Lake County growers suffered an estimated $37.1 million in losses from smoke damage, according to a survey by the Lake County Winegrape Commission.
"The table grape campaign was characterized by generally low prices, unusual weather conditions and substandard product quality," explains Vittorio Fili, president of Associazione Regionale Pugliese dei Tecnici e Ricercatori in Agricoltura (ARPTRA). "The weather affected the cost of harvesting operations, so sales prices remained unvaried. Many producers had to deal with rot and therefore clean and sort bunches to bring high-quality produce to the tables."
Rodney Helton stood in a cotton field in Atmore, Ala., just over the Florida state line, with puddles of wet, mushy soil and water gathering over his dirty boots. He reached out and plucked a sopping wet cotton boll off of a brown, rotting stem and held it between his fingers, shaking his head. “See this?” he said, peeling the wet cotton apart like an orange. “That’s not how it’s supposed to be. It’s supposed to be fluffy, it’s cotton. That’s no good. No good.”
At the Salegaon cattle market in Beed, farmers say that usually there are about 1,000 cattle at this time of the year "But now there are 2,000, says Balasaheb Ingle, a major cattle trader from Kaij taluka. Oversupply has meant a crash in prices. While a pair of bullocks usually fetched Rs 60,000, now the price is Rs 20,000 and lower "I used to buy 15 cattle at each market. Now I am not even buying five," says Ingle, whose clients in larger markets have dried up.
With damages estimated so far at $3 billion or more, Hurricane Michael is "the most expensive disaster Georgia has ever seen," Georgia Commissioner of Public Health Patrick O'Neal recently said. After devastating parts of the Florida panhandle when it made landfall Oct. 10, Michael continued its path of destruction through Southwest Georgia, and officials are still adding up the losses.
The fire south of Havre burned 200 acres on Saturday, according to the Bear Paw Volunteer Fire Department. Bear Paw VFD received the call around 10:30 p.m. Resources from Bear Paw, Kremlin, and Box Elder responded. Bear Paw VFD said that although residences and outbuildings were threatened, no structures burned.
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