• Hundreds of thousands of acres of cotton damaged by Hurricane Michael

    By: Tom Regan

    Updated:

    DOOLEY COUNTY, Ga. - Hurricane Michael has had a devastating impact on Georgia farmers and the agricultural industry. 

    Hundreds of thousands of acres of cotton were damaged by the powerful storm and pecan orchards were also crushed by powerful winds. 

    Channel 2's Tom Regan traveled to middle Georgia to see the damage first hand and talked with a farmer hard hit by the monster storm. 

    "It's pretty devastating when you get into this stage of the crop," said farmer Matt Coley.

    Coley is a fourth generation cotton and peanut farmer. He's lived through good times and bad with the thousands of acres of crops he cultivates, but he's never seen anything like this.


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    "With this staying on the ground, more than likely this is going to just get brittle and rot," he said.

    At this time in the growing season, cotton plants are supposed to be tall and brimming with bright, white cotton balls. Instead, Hurricane Michael has ravaged almost every plant.

    Coley had only harvested about 15 percent of his crop.

    "My initial estimate is anywhere from 30 to 80 percent has been ruined. But it varies a good bit from field to field," he said.

    Beyond cotton, peanuts and pecans, Hurricane Michael has also taken a toll on the poultry industry. 

    The agriculture commissioner said more than 50 chicken houses were damaged or destroyed by the storm.

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