Georgia Farmers Still Counting Hurricane Michael Losses

Cindy Zimmerman

Irrigation system in Georgia peanut field damaged by Hurricane Michael

Hurricane Michael hit Georgia agriculture right at harvest season for many crops, including peanuts, where only half of what was looking to be a pretty good crop had been harvested. The remaining 50 percent is yet to be harvested as crop conditions deteriorate and damaged peanut buying points struggle to regain power to dry and grade the peanuts.

Officials with the Georgia Peanut Commission have been meeting with federal and state officials since the storm hit on October 10 trying to determine the impact on growers and the industry’s infrastructure.

“Hurricane Michael for peanut farmers is still an invisible problem in some locations, because we have peanuts in the ground that haven’t been dug yet and major infrastructure issues with buying points not being able to dry the peanuts or grade them,” says Don Koehler, GPC executive director.

Koehler says crop insurance is of little help to farmers since guarantees are based on old production history and the best thing Congress could do to provide assistance is get back to Washington and pass a new farm bill. “For a farmer trying to move forward now from this, he can’t tell his banker what he’s going to do and he can’t get financing,” without a new farm bill, said Koehler.

Learn more in this interview – Interview with Don Koehler, GA Peanut Commission, on hurricane damage

Audio, Farm Bill, Peanuts