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Georgia cotton hammered by MichaelGeorgia cotton hammered by Michael

Georgia cotton and other crops suffer extensive damage from Hurricane Michael.

Ron Smith 1

October 11, 2018

7 Slides

Georgia’s cotton crop prospects took an economically devastating hit from Hurricane Michael. Georgia Department of Agriculture estimates indicate that no more than 15 percent of the crop had been harvested when the strongest storm ever to hit southwest Georgia roared across the region.

Much of the cotton was at its most vulnerable stage, defoliated, open and ready to harvest.

Reports from several farmers and crop consultants point to total loss of cotton over much of the southwest Georgia production area.

Peanuts dug and drying also suffered massive damage and pecans groves will lose this year’s nut crop as well as many trees.

The day before the storm hit, estimates predicted crop damage to approach $1 billion.

Damage to property is also expected to be significant.

These photos from Georgia Department of Agriculture and farmers Tom Windhausen and Johnny Cochran show the scope of cotton losses.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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