ATLANTA, Ga. – As Hurricane Michael’s aftermath is revealed, hour by hour, with new images coming from Mexico Beach, and Panama City Beach, and the death toll rising, the storm can claim another casualty.
The powerful storm system has hurt the agricultural industry of Southwest and Central Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture readies itself to help assist in damaged farms. Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black weighed in, saying, “Michael’s impact has been the most widespread and devastating hurricane in recollection to impact Georgia’s agriculture industry. Crops, animals and infrastructure have all taken a substantial loss,”
According to the AJC, the Georgia poultry industry contributes $23.3 billion to the state’s economy and has reported the most widespread power outages and loss. To date, the GDA has received reports of 84 chicken houses, estimated to have held more than two million chickens, that were destroyed. The farms, dairies and processing plants impacted were in Appling, Colquitt, Coffee, Decatur, Evans, Houston, Mitchell, Randolph, Lee and Wilcox Counties.
Number two crop in the U.S., and number one row crop in Georgia, cotton, has also taken a tremendous hit. The winds drove much of the fiber to the ground or or made it almost impossible to ginsuffered massive loss due to the hurricane. Damaging winds drove much of the fiber to the ground or made it impossible to gin.
Peanuts and pecans were also hit but the damage is still being evaluated.