Pecan and cotton farmers in southeast Georgia are being encouraged to seek government assistance from the damage stemming from Hurricane Matthew. Specifically, those who experienced pecan damage can apply for federal cleanup funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.
“The storm will affect the overall yield for Georgia, but it’s hard to say exactly how much,” said Lenny Wells, UGA Extension pecan specialist at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus. “There’s a significant amount of production in the eastern part of the state, but it’s definitely not the hub of pecan production in Georgia.”
Last year, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences economists released a report that forecasted Georgia’s agricultural state. They claimed that agri-technology was helping the state become a national leader in the industry.
“We are becoming the bread basket of the world,” said Dean J. Scott Angle of the CAES, at the time of the forecast.
Georgia farmers are still assessing damage from Hurricane Matthew, the worst of which seemed to occur in Appling County, Tattnall County, and Screven County.
“Outside of areas where the storm hit, production looks good this year,” Wells continued. “From the visual size of the crop, it looks like one of the best years we’ve had in quite a few years.”
Pecans have become the 10th highest-grossing commodity in Georgia, helping farmers reel in more than $300 million in 2014.