Farmers gather for disaster assistance after Hurricane Michael

Farmers gather for disaster assistance after Hurricane Michael
The Agriculture Disaster Assistance session brought out many farmers across South Georgia. (Source: WALB)

TIFT CO, GA (WALB) - The agriculture industry took a major hit after Hurricane Michael, leaving many farmers in trouble with their crops.

The Agriculture Disaster Assistance information session has just started. If you were unable to attend go to to www.gapeanuts.com for the information.

Posted by Marilyn Parker WALB on Monday, October 22, 2018

While many farmers appreciate the information on disaster programs they got at the information session, a few say they just don’t know if they’ll recover after this storm.

“It’s real devastating you work that hard you start planting in May, come all the way til now, til October, a few weeks away from harvesting, and bam,” said Ricky Dollison, a farmer in Poulan.

Dollison, like many others, is looking for help after Hurricane Michael ripped through his cotton crop, and caused him to loose his pigs.

“There are some programs here, I’m hoping that will help me recover a little of my loss,” he said.

He's somewhat optimistic about recovering, unlike Stephen Houston.

The Seminole County farmer says his loss is indescribable.

“I’ve been farming on my own for almost 25 years and in a matter of about four hours, I lost anywhere from 6 to 750,000 and there is no way to really recoup that. I definitely grew up farming and I hope I’m going to be able to continue,” said Houston. “Cotton that was ready to pick went from 1500 pounds to the acre, 3 bell cotton, went all the way down to less than 100 pounds , 25-50 pounds to the acre.”

One farmer says he lost the majority of his cotton crop. (Source: Stephen Houston)
One farmer says he lost the majority of his cotton crop. (Source: Stephen Houston)

He said his expenses will go through the roof having to harvest on top of whatever is left.

"Its going to take some help to get over this one."

Emergency officials presented some loan options to the farmers at Monday’s session, but Dollison said that could hurt him more.

“Then in the farming business we have to borrow all of our money up front so I have a considerable amount of debt," said Dollison.

They said they’ll look at what’s available, but for some, the hurt will never go away.

“To describe the loss, I can’t even wrap my mind around how much was lost in such a short period of time,” said Houston.

For those farmers who could not attend Monday’s session, you can go to www.gapeanuts.com for more information.

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