‘Worst Dream Being Realized’: Ga. Crops Devastated From Tropical Storm Michael

State Rep. Clay Pirkle said he was picking three bales of cotton in Turner County yesterday and couldn’t tell the difference between what he had harvested and what the storm had impacted.

Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Agriculture

Tropical storm Michael passed through Georgia and devastated the state’s vegetable, cotton and pecan crop and most of the damage was in Southwest Georgia.

Hurricane Michael arrived before most of the state farmers had started harvest for the season — specifically for pecans, peanuts and cotton.

Georgia’s Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said he saw one farmer’s cotton crop in Turner County.

“It is our worst dream being realized,” Black said. “I have seen cotton that was being harvested yesterday. It was an outstanding yield of three bales an acre. You cannot tell where he stopped harvest and where the rest of it was being harvested by the storm.”

Black said at least 84 poultry houses, estimated to have held more than 2 million chickens, were destroyed.

Black said poultry contributes $23.3 billion to Georgia’s economy and has reported the most widespread power outages and losses. The farms, dairies and processing plants affected were in Appling, Colquitt, Coffee, Decatur, Evans, Houston, Mitchell, Randolph, Lee and Wilcox counties.

Hurricane Michael caused an estimated $8 billion in insured losses as it cut across the southeast this week.

Georgia’s pecan growers also experienced major losses last year during Hurricane Matthew.