ATLANTA, GA- The post-gazette.com writes that Georgia’s agricultural industry is facing a long, tough road to recovery following Hurricane Michael and the damage that the intense storm caused in the region. Georgia’s cotton crops were devastated by the storm.
The storm hit at a point in the cotton season when the cotton was in the fields and could be severely impacted by wind and rain. The crops were just about ready for harvesting when the storm barreled through. The timing could not have been worse according to the region’s farmers.
Georgia’s cotton industry is the second biggest in the state after Texas. The storm came when farmers had only harvested about 12 to 18 percent of their cotton. The storm blanketed the ground in a layer of unsalvageable white cotton. Some farmers say that they lost around 50 to 70 percent of their crops. Other farmers state that they lost everything. One farmer stated that the financial result is a loss of around $2.5 or $3 million.
Throughout the state, the cotton industry suffered about $550 million to $600 million in damage. The overall agricultural damage hit somewhere around $3 billion in Georgia alone.
Pecan farmers were hit hard. The trees take around 10 years to mature and start producing nuts. Many of the trees were destroyed. The pecan industry suffered $560 million in losses. Vegetable farmers lost around $480 million. Peanut crops sustained somewhere from around $10 million to $20 million in damage.
The poultry industry suffered about $25 million in damage. The timber industry lost around $1.3 billion worth of timer that would have been ready to harvest in the next few years. Florida also suffered massive losses in crops, including the majority of its cotton.
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