Cost Estimates for the Damage to Georgia Farming after Hurricane Michael is well over $ 1 billion, according to a new report by Georgian Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black
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Hurricane Michael was the first major hurricane Georgia has met since the 1800s. He moved southwest Georgia last week after falling into the Florida Panhandle.
He destroyed crops and planted whole pecan trees on the ground. Some farmers in South Georgia lost their entire livelihood within a single day.
Black called the losses unprecedented and said they would influence future generations.
"Unfortunately, our worst thoughts have been realized, and we have seen months and sometimes years of work lying on the ground in seconds," said Black. "These are generational losses that are unprecedented and require unprecedented ideas and action to help our peasant families and rural communities recover."
On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence paid the damage and promised support for rebuilding the communities.
"It will not go unnoticed in this government and we will ensure that the people of this region have support for reconstruction," said Pence.
Here's the new breakdown of devastation by harvest clearance from the Georgia Department of Agriculture:
COTTON: $ 300 MILLION US $ 800 MILLION Cotton was the second largest contributor to Georgia's Farmgate value last year, contributing just over 7%. The final loss estimate depends on the ability of farmers to reap what remains in the field. Georgia had the potential for record earnings this year, making this loss even more devastating.
PECAN: $ 560 MILLION – Pecan trees that have been overturned or broken are a heavy generation loss for the peasants. It takes about seven years for a tree to start producing nuts, and there are 100 percent crop losses in Seminole County, 85 percent in Decatur County and 30 percent in Grady County. Pecan farmers need a decade to recover from the loss of a mature tree, and many of these farmers still recovered from Irma when Michael broke through.
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VEGETABLES: $ 480 MILLION – Vegetables are affected by sweetcorn, cucumbers, squash, peppers, peas, and more. Georgia is home to a wide variety of products, many of which were affected by Michael's strong winds and heavy rains. After Hurricane Florence, prices were raised, which improved the loss estimate, as Georgia was in a very good position to supply the market before Hurricane Michael. This is a big blow to farmers who had a difficult spring harvest and counted for the fall.
POULTRY: $ 25 MILLION – Poultry is Georgia's leading agricultural industry, delivering nearly 32 percent of the state's farmgate value in 2012 for broilers and another 5.62 percent for eggs. With the loss of 97 homes and well over 2 million chickens, Michael will have a lasting impact on the poultry industry.
PEANUTS: $ 10 MILLION TO $ 20 MILLION – While peanuts fare better than many other crops, the infrastructure loss remains uncertain. The final loss estimate will be influenced by the ability to move the remaining peanuts out of the field and into storage facilities. The sorting and sorting of these peanuts will make up a large part of the final loss. Peanuts contributed nearly five percent to the 2018 Farmgate value.
AGRITOURISM: Autumn is usually the most important season for many types of agritourism, as it involves activities such as corn labyrinths and pumpkin fields, which bring many families and school trips to the farms. Several labyrinths were destroyed in addition to other farm damage. The loss estimate will be difficult to determine even after the end of the season.
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TIMBER: $ 1 BILLION – About 1 million acres were destroyed, most of them owned by small or private landowners.