Ag Damage Assessment and Economic Loss

A new tool for you

Accurately and quickly assessing the scale of damage following a disaster has been difficult in the past, but, with a new resource recently released by EDEN member institution Penn State Cooperative Extension Service, that task has been made much easier.  The project was led by EDEN immediate past chair Dave Filson. Other team members were Tom Ball, Tommy Bass, Stephen Brown, Michael Bush, Scott Cotton, Rebecca Csutora, Mike Hunter and Marilyn Simunich.

The Ag Damage Assessment Form provides individuals with a standardized method for determining the extent of damages to agricultural commodities and structures. The form provides space to record details needed to determine the exact location and the scale of loss and damage. The Ag Damage Assessment Form includes sections for agricultural losses, including: animal and crop/plant commodities, structures, stored materials, and machinery and equipment. If losses occur for agricultural items not listed, “other” spaces are provided to add/describe additional losses.

Ag Damage Assessment Forms

  • Reduce guesswork—more accurate
  • Examples show the process
  • User Guide explains each section
  • On-line webinar training
  • PowerPointTM training with instructor notes.

One simple form for every type of disaster, for all agriculture, and every state and region.

Visit to access and download all the resources.

Responding to Disasters Is Stressful

Going on location to disasters can be a new and harrowing experience for some Extension personnel. Not only are there physical hazards, but mental and social hazards may be part of the turf too.

You may ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. You could begin to doubt if you are putting in enough time relative to the overwhelming needs. You might attend a town hall meeting in which the situation turns ugly. Your family may miss you and you may miss them. And least of all, but not unimportant, you may wonder if you are ever going to get the yard mowed.

Because responding to disaster is new to some in Extension and not new to others, I bet we all have some tips to share. One is having someone close to talk about what you are going through. Another is having a great team of educators and specialists who help with the response. And, my final tip for this blog is to be on the same page with your boss and administrators. At a risk of going on a tangent in this blog, some will argue that Extension doesn’t have a place in direct response. I have found that education is well received in the response phase of a disaster, especially if you’ve made the upfront efforts and contacts.

Recently, FEMA provided a very clear list of hazards associated with flood and cleanups, which range from fatigue to snakes. It is available on the EDEN Floods and Flooding page at

What other tips might be useful? Please share so we can all respond smarter.

Steve Cain – Purdue University Extension

Avian Influenza Biosecurity Courses

Thanks to Dr. Nathaniel Tablante and Jenny Madsen at University of Maryland, two new biosecurity courses are now available through eXtension. A third course will soon be accessible. The self-directed certification online courses are free, but require enrollment.

Participants will gain vital information on biosecurity measures that focus on prevention, response and recovery of an avian influenza outbreak.

Avian Influenza for Backyard Owners is designed for small flock, backyard, homestead and hobby poultry owners.

Avian Influenza for Emergency Responders is designed for emergency response personnel.