The Georgia Cotton Commission is disappointed by a lack of response to the aftermath left by Hurricane Michael from our partners in the federal government. Over four months after the storm wreaked havoc to communities in southwest, central, and east Georgia, farms and agribusinesses are left with more questions than answers on federal assistance.
GCC Chairman Bart Davis, a cotton farmer from Colquitt County, said “it’s frustrating to meet with our leaders face to face and be promised assistance and nothing come in return,” noting that farmers across the state hope to start planting crops for 2019 in the coming weeks, and that financial institutions will be hesitant to provide operating loans to some without the promise of disaster assistance.
Georgia’s cotton crop has a farm gate value of roughly $1 billion and provides an economic impact significantly higher than that. “Our small towns will continue to suffer if something doesn’t change. The business that farmers provide communities by buying equipment, seed, and chemicals as well as paying employees are what send economic ripples through rural communities that everyone feels, and all of that is in danger,” Davis added.
“The simple fact of the matter is that current safety net procedures and crop insurance are not designed for severe losses such as the over $600 million that Hurricane Michael took from the 2018 Georgia cotton crop,” Davis continued.
Davis concluded by saying, “we thank our congressional leadership for what they have done to this point, but urge them and leaders in the executive branch to come together to help those affected by Hurricane Michael.”