Hurricane Michael did a number on the pecan industry.
Hurricane Michael made headlines last week when it suddenly jumped to a category 4 storm and ripped its way through the Southeast. A number of beach towns along the Florida Panhandle are decimated, but travel isn’t the only industry this hurricane season has hurt.
Southwest and central Georgia also took a big hit, and agriculture, their top industry, is now suffering as a result. Along with farms and dairies, Georgia’s pecan orchards were hit hard. In some areas, the damage is so extensive it’ll take a generation to recover.
Georgia isn’t the only state that produces pecans—they’re commercially grown in 14 other states, including California, Texas, and even Missouri—but they do provide the most at nearly 100 million pounds a year. Now, about half of this year’s crop is gone, along with 27,000 acres of trees. It takes between seven and 10 years for new trees to produce nuts, so the deficit is going to stick around for a while.
"Michael's impact has been the most widespread and devastating hurricane in recollection to impact Georgia's agriculture industry," said Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. "Crops, animals and infrastructure have all taken a substantial loss.”
The Georgia Farm Bureau is currently taking donations. All proceeds will go to Georgian farmers and ranchers.
“As we continue to assess damage, Georgia Farm Bureau is on the ground to help begin the recovery and rebuilding process for Georgians impacted by this tragedy,” GFB President Gerald Long said. “While debris can be cleared away and structures rebuilt, we must continue to pray for the farmers who have lost entire crops, poultry houses, farm equipment and livestock.”
Click here to see how you can help or make a donation to the Georgia Farm Bureau.