Farmer replants thousands of trees following Hurricane Michael

Farmer replants thousands of trees following Hurricane Michael

MITCHELL CO., Ga. (WALB) - Some say farmers were arguably one of the most impacted groups by Hurricane Michael.

It wasn’t until 11 months after Michael hit, that the federal government released a plan for disaster relief funding.

Farmer Miley Adams called it the perfect storm.

“It was just a mess,” Adams said.

His farm faced Hurricane Michael’s fierce winds, whipping through his crops in Mitchell County.

“All that canopy on the trees and all that just caught the whole tree and brought it over, and brought it down,” he said.

Michael essentially wiped out 600 acres of cotton and reduced valuable a big pecan crop to nearly nothing when it damaged his pecan trees.

“Probably the most devastating storm I’ve ever been in,” he said.

Many farmers grew desperate for government disaster relief.

Hurricane Michael damage to cotton crop (Source: Facebook)
Hurricane Michael damage to cotton crop (Source: Facebook)

“It’s getting a little bit precarious. The younger farmers, they need some help. We all need some help," Adams said.

One year later, Adams has replanted 4,000 young pecan trees on his land.

“Most of these older trees were anywhere from about 25 to about 75-years-old, so that’s a lot of history that’s gone,” he said.

Adams said he believes stories of triumph will come from what’s planted here today.

“We started with new trees, a new variety, and of course that’s the name of the game,” he added.

Plants with higher production value and resistance to diseases, Adams said will make all the difference.

Murry Camble is a farmer in Mitchell Co.
Murry Camble is a farmer in Mitchell Co. (Source: WALB)

“Even in the midst of tragedies there are good things that come out of that situation,” he said.

Another growing concern for farmers after receiving federal funding is the trade war with China. One farmer, Murry Camble, said he lost 90 percent of his 300 acres of cotton from Hurricane Michael.

Going into Hurricane Michael, growers were selling cotton in the upper 80 cent range, and it dropped to nearly 30 cents.

The same goes for peanuts and pecans. Camble said while there are many uncertainties in agriculture alone, the trade war is a problem they’d like to get behind them.

“We can fix that, because it will take decades to rebuild some of these markets or for the infrastructure to move where the Vietnams, Cambodias, and Bangladeshs can spin the yarn that we’ve been spending in China,” Camble said.

Camble said receiving disaster funding will help, and that he believes state leaders are doing all they can to help growers.

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