‘Worst dreams realized’ | Michael destroys Georgia crops, poultry houses

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ATLANTA — Georgia’s farming and agricultural industry took a severe hit when Michael rolled through the southern and central part of the state.

“Our worst dreams are being realized,” Gary Black, Georgia’s commissioner of agriculture, said during a press conference with Governor Nathan Deal on Thursday. “It’s a very serious day for agriculture.”

Pecan, cotton and peanut harvests took the hardest hit according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Only 5 percent of pecan, 15 percent of cotton, 30 percent of vegetables and 50 percent of peanut harvests were complete when the storm hit.

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“For me, the cotton crop is as bad as it gets. I was picking three-bale cotton yesterday, today it is gone,” said State Representative Clay Pirkle.

He is a cotton farmer and represents District 155, which encompasses Ashburn, Fitzgerald and Ocilla.

“Can’t tell the difference between what I’ve picked and what I haven’t,” he said.

At least 53 poultry houses have also been destroyed in Coffee, Houston, Mitchell, Wilcox and Decatur counties.

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