According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2017 there were 245,651,153 acres of farmland actively being used for planting a variety of crops including barley, corn, cotton, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sugar beets, sugarcane, and wheat. That’s over 38,000 square miles of possible resources for human and animal consumption and use. In our own state of Arkansas, our residents own over 96% of the nation’s rice farms.
Agricultural production involves a variety of inputs and procedures to ensure a fruitful crop. The process is often complicated and involves scientific and mathematical understanding. So when crop damage and failure happens, anger and confusion are common reactions. Crop damage claims often give rise to litigation and battles to determine the true cause or causes of the crop failure.
If your farm or land has suffered due to crop damage and you believe that a corporation or neighboring business may be at fault for your failed crops, get in touch with the Little Rock crop damage lawyers from McMath Woods P.A. today. We may be able to help you recover.
Facts and Stats on Agriculture in Arkansas
This information has been compiled from a variety of resources provided by Arkansas’ Farm Bureau (ARFB).
- Agriculture is the largest industry in Arkansas, adding around $16 billion to the state’s economy each year.
- The agriculture and forestry industries use more than 95% of Arkansas’ land resources: 14.5 million acres is used as farmland, 6.2 million acres is used to plant and harvest crops, 8.3 million acres is dedicated to livestock and hay, and 18.8 million acres consist of forest land.
- Arkansas ranks third in cotton production and produces 7% of the United States crop.
- Of the 49,346 farms in Arkansas, 97% are family-owned.
- The average farm in Arkansas is 308 acres.
Why Crop Damage Happens
As you can see from the information above, agriculture is a crucial part of Arkansas’ economy. When crop damage occurs, the consequence can be detrimental. Prior to discussing the impact of crop damage, we must first examine why crop damage occurs.
According to Arkansas’ State Plant Board, the AAD is responsible for sampling, inspecting, and testing all agricultural, vegetable, and flower seeds offered for sale to determine if the seeds are in compliance with the laws and regulations. Sometimes, defective seeds slip through the cracks. Defective seeds can cause poor crop numbers, mutations that make the crops unusable, or total crop failure.
While a variety of pollutants can bring disease to a crop, the most common are ozone, sulfured oxide, fluoride, and nitrogen oxides peroxyacetyl.
Ozone pollution occurs when nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons are emitted from cars, oil refineries, and industrial combustions. As a result, the plants may exhibit a variety of symptoms. When a variety of fuels are combusted, sulfur dioxide is released. This is often lethal to plants. Fluoride is released from the production of aluminum and fertilizers. Plants impacted by large amounts of fluoride will die. Growing crops will mutate when exposed to nitrogen oxides peroxyacetyl.
Defective Fungicides or Pesticides
The AAD’s pesticide division is responsible for distributing, storing, and use all the pesticides in the state. While they work with the FDA to enforce the laws and regulations regarding fungicide and pesticide use, defective pesticides or the improper use of effective pesticides can damage crop production and the health of local residents.
Improper use of pesticides can also result in pesticide spray drift. This occurs when the airborne movement of pesticides travels to an unintended site. Pesticidal drift can affect people, animals, plants, and property.
The Impact of Crop Damage
There are a variety of consequences related to the damage or failure of crops.
Weakening of Economy. Crop damage impacts the economy from different angles. If an insufficient food supply results, the government may be forced to import food from other countries. Without certain crops, livestock numbers may decrease, and the farming industry will take a hit.
Failure of Agriculturally-Based Industries. The industries related to the success of the agricultural industry include both food processing and cloth manufacturing. If there is a lack of raw materials, the agro-based industries will suffer.
Increased Food Prices. Crop failures often lead to a severe increase in food prices.
Starvation. In severe cases, especially in countries that rely entirely on their own food supply, crop damage and failure may put the general population at risk for starvation. This is especially true if there are no regulations or plans in place to counteract the damage.
Seeking Legal Representation From an Arkansas Crop Damage Lawyer
Our Little Rock crop damage lawyers at McMath Woods P.A. have been handling agricultural damage claims for decades. Our experience with product liability, toxic injury, and environmental law allows us to create successful cases for our clients, so they can receive full and fair compensation for the negligence of another individual or corporation.
If you feel as though your crop damage resulted from another party’s negligence, contact us online today. We’ll review your case and inform you of your options and rights.