Farmers in Georgia and Florida are still trying to get a handle on the extent of damage left behind by Hurricane Michael. One thing officials do know for sure is that Michael devastated Georgia’s cotton crop. Georgia typically produces the second-largest cotton crop in the nation. USDA had predicted a cotton crop of 2.9 million bales this year, second only to Texas in total production. However, only 15 percent of Georgia’s crop had been harvested before the storm came through. 20 percent of the state’s cotton crop was planted late, so some of that may be okay. Richie Seaton of the Georgia Cotton Commission told Agri-Pulse that the rest of the crop took a direct hit at a time when it was most vulnerable to storm damage. “Michael is going to cost the state of Georgia billions of dollars in damage,” Seaton says. Georgia’s pecan orchards were hit hard by Hurricane Irma last year and took another hit from Michael. In Florida, the timber industry was hit hard, along with some poultry, dairy, and aquaculture operations were damaged as well. The state’s Ag Department says the tomato crop was damaged as well.
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