HUR­RI­CANE MICHAEL’S IM­PACT ON GE­OR­GIA AGRI­CUL­TURE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - FROM PAGE ONE -

The storm had a “cat­a­strophic” ef­fect on the state’s top agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia’s Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion.

Agents and agri­cul­tural economists af­fil­i­ated with the school es­ti­mated that the storm caused more than $2.5 bil­lion in losses to the state’s agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

The state’s big­gest cash crops, in­clud­ing cot­ton and peanuts, took ma­jor hits. But even more con­cern­ing to many pol­i­cy­mak­ers was the “gen­er­a­tional losses” to pe­can or­chards and tim­ber, be­cause it takes years for new trees to grow to ma­tu­rity.

Poul­try, the state’s most prof­itable agri­cul­ture ex­port, also ex­pe­ri­enced ma­jor losses. Not only were birds lost, but chicken houses and other farm struc­tures, too.

Here are some of the di­rect and in­di­rect losses the storm caused to in­di­vid­ual crops, along with the“farm gate”value of each — the mar­ket value of each crop mi­nus costs such as trans­port — in 2016 as es­ti­mated by the UGA Cen­ter for Agribusi­ness and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment:

COT­TON

Di­rect losses: $550 mil­lion - $600 mil­lion Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $74 mil­lion

Farm gate value: $968 mil­lion

PE­CANS

Di­rect losses: $560 mil­lion (in­clud­ing crops, trees and fu­ture in­come) Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $24.7 mil­lion

Farm gate value: $356 mil­lion

TIM­BER Di­rect losses: $763 mil­lion Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $170 mil­lion

Farm gate value: $681 mil­lion

VEG­ETA­BLES Di­rect losses: $480 mil­lion Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $69 mil­lion

Farm gate value: $996 mil­lion

POUL­TRY

Di­rect losses: $28 mil­lion (in­clud­ing birds and chicken houses) Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $20 mil­lion

Farm gate value, 2016: $4.4 bil­lion

PEANUTS Di­rect losses: $10 mil­lion - $20 mil­lion Agri­cul­ture-sec­tor losses: $1.6 mil­lion

Farm gate value: $624 mil­lion

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