The financial and emotional toll of Hurricane Michael is starting to set in on the minds of Georgians.
Cotton losses are expected to reach in the hundreds of millions of dollars. According to reports from the Albany Herald, producers are planning a total loss of about 25 percent depending on the areas impacted by the hurricane and equipment loss.
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service will be collecting data from around the impacted areas, and they expect hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. Predictions expect the financial impact to the rural areas of Georgia to be felt for many years.
Premilinary reports from Georgia’s State Department of Agriculture suggest that no more than 15 percent of the crop had been harvested when the strongest storm ever to hit southwest Georgia region. Much of the cotton crop at the time of impact was in it’s most vulnerable stage and ready for harvest. Peanut farming also took a devastating hit.
Farmers and other producers are encouraged to document all damages and losses in an attempt to qualify for state and federal grant assistance.
The expected cost could reach $1 billion.
On Thursday, Georgia Agricultural Commissioner Gary Black has had a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence and Agricultural Secretary Sonny Perdue about the commitment the USDA will make to the states most impacted by Hurricane Michael.
Below is the following statement from Pence and Perdue:
“I am proud of the work being done by the USDA family as they continue to assist during Hurricane Michael. Our team will continue to be there for our farmers, ranchers, and those affected to get them the aid they need. As Vice President Pence said today, the entire federal government is there ‘in the city and on the farm to achieve a full recovery,’” said Secretary Perdue.