Anda di halaman 1dari 8

© Copyright April 2019 by Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Introduction of good market prices and high yields that could provide
Hurricane Michael roared onto the Florida Panhandle strong financial footing for future years. When Hurricane
on October 10, 2018. A Category 4 storm with sustained Michael made landfall, cotton harvest in Florida, Alabama
winds of 155 miles per hour — just shy of the 157 miles per and Georgia was in the early stages. In the crop’s life-cycle,
hour necessary to be classified a Category 5 storm — it was this is cotton’s most vulnerable phase because the leaves
the third strongest hurricane to strike the United States have dropped, exposing the delicate fiber. Although a
mainland. As Michael moved northeast across Alabama and majority of farmers have crop insurance, most policies only
Georgia, the hurricane’s fierce winds, towering storm surge cover a certain percentage of the 10-year average yield.
and punishing rain caused billions of dollars in damage to While this provides some relief, it still is far below the
homes, businesses and infrastructure in the Southern region. record profit cotton farmers were anticipating in 2018.

For farmers in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, the timing As the storm moved across the region, Hurricane Michael’s
of the storm could not have been worse. Just as harvest tempestuous winds snapped trees like matchsticks, devas-
season for many vegetable and row crops* was beginning, tating the timber industry. Following a hurricane, salvaging
like a plague of locusts, Michael devoured nearly every fallen timber can be particularly challenging and extends
farm in its path. This SLC Regional Resource, current far beyond clearing debris. In rural areas, felled trees can
as of April 15, 2019, reviews the agricultural impact of block road access, making transportation of timber and
Hurricane Michael on Florida, Alabama and Georgia. equipment difficult. When farmers are unable to access the
Across the three states, cotton and timber were hardest equipment necessary to salvage felled trees or are unable
hit, but damage to other agricultural products and infra- to promptly transport trees to processing facilities, addi-
structure was equally devastating. tional losses are incurred. As downed forest debris dries,
the potential for wildfire conditions increases. Even those
The 2018 cotton crop in the South was expected to be trees that are damaged, but not felled, may die or show
a record-setter, with farmers anticipating a combination decreased production in future seasons due to limb and/or
leaf loss. Damaged trees also are more vulnerable to dis-
A row crop is a crop that can be planted in rows wide enough
to allow it to be tilled or otherwise cultivated by agricultural ease. Timber mills in the impacted areas also incurred
machinery. Examples of row crops include sunflowers, potatoes, damage or were rendered inoperable by power loss, leav-
cotton and soybeans. ing few options for the processing of salvageable timber.
Unlike vegetable and row crops, trees take years to
mature and produce, resulting in losses that will be About the Data
Data on agricultural losses were collected from publicly avail-
felt for generations. Compounding this, some farmers
able reports published by the University of Florida Institute
use their timber stands as collateral for loans used to of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Florida Department of
operate their farms.1 For these farmers, the loss of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Alabama Cooperative
timber also means the loss of a significant safety net. Extension System, Alabama Forestry Commission and the
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Given inher-
Florida ent differences in data collection and measurement among
these sources, figures have been rounded for the purposes
Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm on record
of editorial standardization.
to make landfall on the Florida Panhandle. Estimates
of total agricultural losses in the state vary. According
to economists with the University of Florida Insti- when Hurricane Michael struck.8 The FDACS esti-
tute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the storm mates approximately 51,400 acres were a total loss,
caused production losses totaling $158 million for with no salvageable cotton, while 25,500 acres expe-
the state’s agricultural industries and an additional rienced severe damage with losses in the range of
$1.3 billion in timber losses.2 Meanwhile, the Florida 85 percent, and 39,500 acres experienced significant
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services damage with an estimated 50 percent loss.9 In total,
(FDACS) estimates losses to production agriculture an estimated $50 million in cotton crops was lost.
(including timber) totaled more than $1.4 billion.3 As a comparison, in 2017, the state’s total cotton
Timber ($1.3 billion), cotton ($56 million) and pea- production was valued at $52.4 million.10 Beyond
nuts ($29.5 million) sustained the greatest crop losses, direct crop loss, infrastructure associated with the
while the cattle ($43 million) and green industries* cotton industry — such as barns, sheds and farming
($16 million) also suffered. equipment — also was impacted. These ancillary losses
are expected to exceed $6 million, with total losses
Nearly 47 percent of the state is forested, with a large estimated at $56 million.11
portion clustered in northwest Florida.4 This por-
tion of the state was hardest hit by the hurricane’s Nationally, Florida ranks fourth in the value of pro-
wind. The Forest Service Division of FDACS esti- duction of peanuts.12 In 2017, the state’s peanut crop
mates that Hurricane Michael damaged a total of production was valued at $153.9 million.13 Often
2.8 million acres of forest land at an estimated value grown in rotation with cotton, peanuts are a major
of $1.3 billion at current average timber stumpage† crop in northern Florida. Like other ground crops,
prices.5 Adjusting for average annual harvest lev- peanuts are better able to withstand the impacts
els, and assuming a 10 percent timber salvage rate, of hurricane-force winds. At the time Michael
the loss for the 2018–2019 season is estimated at struck, approximately half of the state’s peanut crop
$147 million.6 According to the Florida Forestry already had been harvested.14 The FDACS esti-
Association, the timber industry employs approxi- mates $23 million in peanut crop losses. Associated
mately 120,000 people in the state, contributing a infrastructure also sustained significant damage.
total of $25 billion to the state’s economy.7 Processing facilities were heavily impacted by the
hurricane’s winds and many facilities lost power for
Damage to Florida’s cotton crop was catastrophic. several days. Without the ability to heat-dry peanuts
Typically harvested in October, approximately in processing facilities, peanuts must be dried in the
90 percent of the state’s crop remained in the field field, risking further crop loss. Damages to infra-
Florida’s green industries include greenhouses, nurseries
structure, including drying facilities, warehouses and
and floriculture producers. sampling stations, are estimated at $6.5 million.15

Stumpage price is the price a buyer pays for the right to Total losses for the state’s peanut industry are esti-
harvest timber from a given land base. mated to exceed $29 million.16


Cattle are one of Florida’s top agricultural com- state and federal spending to help the state recover
modities in terms of farm receipts. According to the from the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael
U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic and other recent hurricanes.24
Research Service (ERS), the cattle and calves com-
modity group ranked fourth among the state’s top Alabama
commodities in 2017, with farm receipts exceeding Rolling through the southeast corner of the state,
$580 million.17 Damage to this sector caused by Hurricane Michael caused approximately $300 mil-
Hurricane Michael centers largely on infrastructure, lion in damage to Alabama’s agricultural opera-
including fencing, barns and equipment. Keeping tions, including $204 million in direct agricultural
cattle out of harm’s way is a significant expense, often losses.25 Known as the Wiregrass Region, this portion
requiring additional purchases of feed and forage to of the state has particularly fertile soil and a robust
mitigate the loss of hay. Providing water for relocated agricultural economy. As a result of the damage
herds may be complicated further by loss of electric- caused by Hurricane Michael, the Alabama Coop-
ity, rendering water pumps inoperable. As a result of erative Extension System estimates that local, state
the widespread damage, the FDACS cautions that and federal tax revenues could decline by as much
some cows may not carry calves to weaning — or even as $22.8 million.26 In terms of agricultural impact,
breed — in the following year.18 Field reports indi- cotton ($107.7 million), livestock ($24.5 million) and
cate that a significant number of livestock animals, timber ($20.9 million) sustained the greatest losses,
including beef cattle, were unaccounted for during while farm infrastructure ($11.9 million) and pea-
the hurricane.19 Most of the animals disappeared nuts ($11.3 million) also suffered.
from farms and ranches with damaged fencing or
enclosures. Dead cattle also were reported, though Cotton farmers in the state were anticipating a
the exact number is not known. Total ancillary losses record-setting harvest in 2018, due to a combination
to the cattle sector are estimated at $37.6 million, of high yield and good market prices.27 Favorable
while direct losses are estimated at an additional weather conditions throughout the growing season,
$5.8 million.20 including a reprieve from the August drought that
plagued cotton farmers previously, were expected to
With a unique climate and long growing season, produce high yields. According to the USDA, an esti-
Florida’s nurseries provide plants for landscapers and mated output of 1,065 pounds per acre was expected,
agricultural producers across the country. Statewide, nearly 100 pounds more per acre than the previous
the sector’s annual sales are estimated at $2.75 billion, record yield.28 Yet, with most of the crop still in the
with approximately $80 million in sales from the field when the hurricane struck, cotton accounted
region impacted by Hurricane Michael.21 Total losses, for more than half of the state’s direct agricultural
including crop losses, for Florida’s green industry are losses.29 The Alabama Cooperative Extension System
estimated at $16.1 million.22 estimates total crop losses for cotton at approximately
$107.7 million.30 Extension records show that farm-
During the 2019 legislative session, dozens of bills ers in the state planted more than 435,000 acres of
have been filed to provide funding and relief for cotton in 2017, producing crops worth an estimated
cleanup efforts, as well as for rebuilding communi- $292 million.31 That same year, cotton ranked fifth
ties, schools and infrastructure in areas impacted by among the state’s top agricultural commodities,
Hurricane Michael. To offset impacts to the state’s according to the USDA ERS.32
agriculture sector, Commissioner of Agriculture and
Consumer Services Nikki Fried has requested an Cattle are one of Alabama’s top agricultural com-
additional $39 million in storm-related funding from modities in terms of farm receipts. According to the
the Legislature.23 Likewise, Governor Ron DeSantis USDA ERS, the cattle and calves commodity group
has announced plans to direct almost $2 billion in ranked second among the state’s top commodities in


2017, with farm receipts exceeding $499 million.33 Although peanuts, which grow underground, are
While farmers in the state did not report high num- more resistant to storm damage, the commodity
bers of livestock deaths, their operations sustained was among the most impacted in the state, with
significant harm to associated infrastructure, par- losses estimated at $11.3 million.42 In 2017, the state
ticularly fencing. Fence replacement costs in the produced an estimated $156 million in peanuts,
state’s cattle sector total almost $18 million, with with most of the crop originating in the Wiregrass
another $5.6 million in debris removal expenses.34 Region — the area most impacted by Hurricane
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System esti- Michael. Although peanuts do not rank among
mates that Hurricane Michael cost livestock operators the state’s top commodities, the Alabama Peanut
a total of $24.5 million.35 Producers Association estimates half of the peanuts
produced in the United States come from a 100-mile
Alabama is home to 23 million acres of forest- radius of Dothan, a city in the Wiregrass Region.43
land, the third largest commercial forestland in the
nation.36 The state’s forest industry is an important Georgia
driver of rural development in the area, support- Hurricane Michael (Category 4) was one of only five
ing approximately 41,700 jobs and $2.1 billion in major hurricanes — defined as a Category 3 or higher —
direct employment earnings.37 With an estimated to make landfall in Georgia since recordkeeping began
$20.9 million in direct losses and an additional in 1851.44 As it swept across the state, the storm flat-
$11.8 million associated with the loss of pine straw, tened trees, demolished crops and destroyed chicken
the state’s timber industry was severely impacted.38 coops, causing an estimated $2.5 billion in damages
Surveys conducted by the Alabama Forestry Com- to the state’s agriculture sector.45 Annually, agricul-
mission indicate approximately 42,400 acres were ture contributes approximately $73.3 billion to the
destroyed by the storm, including 13,400 acres of state’s economy, and one in seven Georgians works
pine, 2,900 acres of hardwood and 26,000 acres in agriculture, forestry or related fields.46 Timber
of mixed pine and hardwood.39 The state’s forest ($763 million), cotton ($550 million – $600 million)
industry is an important driver of rural devel- and pecans ($560 million) sustained the greatest
opment in the area, supporting approximately losses, while vegetables ($480 million) and the poul-
41,700 jobs and $2.1 billion in direct employ- try industry ($28 million) also suffered.47
ment earnings.40
In 2017, Georgia led the nation in the volume of
In addition to crop damage, Hurricane Michael annual timber harvested.48 However, with more
caused an estimated $11.9 million in damages to than 2.3 million acres destroyed or damaged by
farm infrastructure, including structural damages the hurricane — contributing to an estimated loss
on farms and to agribusinesses.41 The lasting effect of $763 million — the state’s timber industry likely
of destroyed and damaged farm infrastructure likely will feel the impacts of the storm for generations.49
will ripple across the state’s economy for years to Approximately 300,000 acres (16 percent) of the
come as farmers struggle to replace equipment and state’s timber were classified as catastrophically dam-
rebuild structures and fencing. Likewise, damage aged and an estimated 1.4 million acres (61 percent)
to the state’s agribusiness infrastructure, including were deemed moderately damaged.50 Recorded dam-
cotton gins and peanut processing facilities, could age included breakage of trunks, tops and branches,
cause further complications for farmers. Damaged as well as bent and toppled trees. Beyond the direct
and/or inoperable agribusiness infrastructure could damages, the University of Georgia Cooperative
lead to delays in both the harvest and sale of remain- Extension estimates an additional $170 million in
ing crops, leaving already cash-strapped farmers with associated agriculture sector losses resulting from
few options. reduced output.51


Hurricane Michael cut a punishing path across Poultry is the state’s leading agricultural industry.63
the state’s cotton-growing region where, like their According to the Georgia Poultry Federation, the
neighbors in Florida and Alabama, farmers were industry contributes more than $18.4 billion to the
anticipating record yields. When the hurricane struck, state’s economy each year.64 The USDA ERS found
only about 15 percent of the state’s crop had been that, in 2017, broilers* were the state’s top agricultural
harvested.52 As a result, some fields in the southwest commodity, while chicken eggs ranked fourth.65 That
portion of the state were declared a complete loss. same year, broiler meat was the state’s third most-
According to the University of Georgia Cooperative exported agricultural commodity.66 During Hurricane
Extension, loss estimates range from $550 million Michael, more than 90 poultry houses were destroyed
to $600 million, with an additional $74 million in or significantly damaged, resulting in approximately
associated agriculture sector losses.53 In 2017, upland $20 million in direct losses.67,68 Additionally, farmers
cotton lint ranked second among the state’s top com- lost more than 2 million chickens in the storm, result-
modities in terms of farm receipts.54 According to the ing in another $8 million in direct losses.69 Beyond
USDA ERS, that same year, cotton was the state’s the direct impacts to birds and poultry houses, the
most exported agricultural commodity and the state industry incurred $20 million in associated agricul-
ranked second overall in cotton exports.55 ture sector losses.70

The state’s pecan industry, which accounts for In response to the unprecedented damage to the
one-third of the nation’s overall supply, sustained state’s agriculture sector, then-Governor Nathan Deal
unprecedented losses.56 Estimates from the University called a special session of the General Assembly in
of Georgia Cooperative Extension suggest the indus- November 2018. During the special session, law-
try incurred $100 million in direct crop losses, makers approved two bills aimed at providing relief
$260 million in lost trees and $200 million in future for the state’s agriculture industry. House Bill 1EX
income, for a total loss of $560 million.57 Due to the provided $270 million toward hurricane relief,
significant number of high-producing trees that were including $55 million for disaster relief assistance to
lost, the industry will feel the impact of the storm impacted farmers and $20 million in assistance for
for years to come. Beyond direct losses, the state cleanup efforts for timberland and pecan growers.71
sustained an additional $24.7 million in agriculture Meanwhile, House Bill 4EX extended $200 million
sector losses related to the pecan industry.58 in income tax credits to timber and pecan farmers.72
Additionally, in February 2019, lawmakers approved
Mid-October is an important harvest time for a mid-year budget that included an additional
Georgia’s vegetable farmers. When Hurricane Michael $20 million in low-interest, disaster-relief loans for
struck, many of the state’s late summer and fall veg- farmers affected by Hurricane Michael.73
etable crops were near, or in the midst, of harvest.
The University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Conclusion
estimates that 35 percent to 40 percent of the state’s With punishing winds and torrential rain, Hurricane
vegetable income is connected to the fall growing sea- Michael struck Florida, Alabama and Georgia just
son.59 The vegetable industry incurred $480 million as many of the states’ most valuable crops were
in direct losses due to Hurricane Michael, with nearing harvest, devastating the states’ agriculture
another $69 million in agriculture sector losses related sectors. Combined, the agriculture sector in these
to the industry.60 The most affected vegetable crops three states sustained losses exceeding $3.2 billion.
were sweet corn, peppers (bell and specialty), egg- With $2.5 billion in agricultural losses, Georgia’s
plants, cucumber, squash, tomatoes, snap beans and producers and agribusiness incurred more damage
early-planted cabbage and greens.61 Crop losses for *
A broiler is any chicken that is bred and raised specifi-
sweet corn alone exceeded 90 percent.62 cally for meat production.


than Florida and Alabama combined. The most and posing threats to human health and safety. To
impacted commodity, timber, sustained combined mitigate this, especially during periods of drought,
direct losses of more than $2.1 billion. Meanwhile, increased resources for wildfire prevention is criti-
the cotton industry sustained a combined direct cal. States may also consider programs to encourage
loss of between $713.7 million and $763.7 million. reforestation. By providing funding to assist forestry
Providing sufficient relief funds likely will place sig- commissions in producing and distributing additional
nificant pressure on state budgets. Although federal seedlings in severely impacted areas, states can assist
disaster relief funds sometimes are authorized, they timber producers in getting back on their feet while
cannot be relied upon to alleviate all damages. Once reducing the risk of wild fires.
authorized, such funds often can take years to arrive,
as those in affected areas continue to languish. As the agriculture sector in Florida, Alabama and
Georgia continues to recover from Hurricane Michael,
When farmers lost their crops in October 2018, they the 2019 hurricane season (June 1 – November 30) is
also lost substantial resources to run their farms in just around the corner. Meanwhile, legislative sessions
2019. These losses mean that many small farmers will in the Southern region are drawing to a close, leaving
be unable to pay off their bank loans after harvest, little time to consider disaster recovery measures for
requiring them to carry the debt forward. This, in future events.
turn, impacts the ability of small farmers to borrow
sufficient funds to finance another growing season. Damage from Hurricane Michael is expected to have
As they prepare their land for the upcoming plant- a far-reaching impact not just on farms, but also on
ing season, farmers also face the added expense of agribusinesses such as cotton gins, peanut proces-
replacing barns, livestock and irrigation systems. sors, packers and restaurants that source their produce
Meanwhile, ongoing trade wars and price uncertainty directly from farmers. For many, the ripple effects
continue to drive prices down and drive input costs of Hurricane Michael will be felt for years — if not
up across all agricultural industries. generations — to come.

The important steps taken by the Georgia General

Assembly during the 2018 special session will offset
1. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture,” Florida
some of the losses suffered, particularly in the timber Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, accessed
and pecan industries. However, many small farmers January 16, 2019,
across all three states continue to struggle to regain 2. “UF/IFAS Economists: Hurricane Michael Caused $158 Million
their financial footing in the wake of the hurricane. in Florida Agricultural Production Losses,” UF/IFAS News,
October 26, 2018,
As other states consider strategies to support their uf-ifas-economists-hurricane-michael-caused-158-million-in-florida-
agriculture sectors following natural disasters, some agricultural-production-losses/.
options include grant programs, sales tax exemptions 3. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.”
4. Ibid.
on farm equipment (such as tractors, irrigation infra- 5. Alan W. Hodges, Christa D. Court and Caleb A. Stair, Economic
structure and materials used in rebuilding structures Losses for Florida Agriculture Resulting from Hurricane Michael,
University of Florida-IFAS, Food and Resource Economics
and fences), if not already implemented, and zero- or Department, October 26, 2018,
low-interest loans to provide a financial bridge to files/2018/11/Economic-Losses-for-Florida-Agriculture-Resulting-
the next harvest. Narrowly tailoring these benefits 6. Ibid.
will ensure they flow only to affected farmers in 7. Graham Brink, “Hurricane Michael’s Effect on Timber Industry
disaster areas. ‘Catastrophic,’ Adam Putnam Says,” Tampa Bay Times, October 19,
Natural disasters resulting in significant damage 8. “Update on Florida Crop Damage Caused by Hurricane Michael,” UF/
IFAS News, October 15, 2018,
to timber often can increase an area’s risk of wild- update-on-florida-crop-damage-caused-by-hurricane-michael/.
fire, leading to additional losses for the industry 9. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.”


10. “Florida Agriculture Overview and Statistics,” accessed 42. Hurricane Michael Alabama Agriculture 2018 Damage Assessment
January 23, 2019, Report, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
Agriculture-Industry/Florida-Agriculture-Overview-and-Statistics. 43. Pillion, “Cotton Crop Takes Hit Alabama Farmers Fear Harvest Lost.”
11. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.” 44. Jennifer Brett, “How Hurricane Michael Made History,” The Atlanta
12. “Florida Agriculture Overview and Statistics.” Journal-Constitution, accessed March 6, 2019,
13. Florida Agriculture Fast Facts 2018, UF/IFAS University of Florida, weather/hurricanes/georgia-hurricane-michael-marks-new-kind-storm/ kwck2IdHMVCeLioHENH3WL/.
ICS_FloridaAgFactsBooklet2018.web.pdf. 45. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Agricultural Economy,
14. Hodges, Court and Stair, Economic Losses for Florida Agriculture. University of Georgia Extension, November 1, 2018,
15. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.”
16. Ibid. Hurricane-Michael-Georgia-ag-impacts.pdf.
17. “State Data,” United States Department of Agriculture Economic 46. Matt Kemper, “The Year for Georgia Farmers: ‘Man, it was Gut
Research Service, accessed January 25, 2019, https://data.ers.usda. Wrenching,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 30,
gov/reports.aspx?StateFIPS=12&StateName=Florida&ID=17854. 2018,
18. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.” farmers-man-was-gut-wrenching/GaGwQh5Cs5cIlkycaBa3TI/.
19. Hodges, Court and Stair, Economic Losses for Florida Agriculture. 47. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
20. “Hurricane Michael’s Damage to Florida Agriculture.” 48. Jessica Saunders, “Georgia Revises Agriculture Losses from Hurricane
21. Ibid. Michael,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, accessed October 24, 2018,
22. Ibid.
23. Jim Turner, “Nikki Fried Spotlights Farmers Still Suffering in agriculture-losses-from-hurricane.html.
Michael’s Afternath,” Sun-Sentinel, April 6, 2019. 49. Timber Impact Assessment, Georgia Forestry Commission Forest Health
24. John Kennedy, “Florida Legislature to Look at Hurricane Management Group, October 29, 2018,
Michael Recovery,” The Florida Times-Union, accessed management/storm-damage/Hurricane%20MichaelTimber%20Impact%20
March 8, 2019, Assessment%20Georgia%20October%2010-11%202018%20(2).pdf.
florida-legislature-to-look-at-hurricane-michael-recovery/1. 50. Andrew Sawyer, “UGA Extension Offers Tips for Producers Who
25. Dennis Pillion, “Hurricane Michael Cost Alabama Estimated Need to Salvage Timber,” Extension News, November 28, 2018,
$307 Million, 2,500 Jobs,”, November 1, 2018, 51. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
estimated-307-million-2500-jobs.html. 52. Sharon Dowdy, “Georgia Farmers Face More than $2 Billion in Losses from
26. Ibid. Hurricane Michael,” Extension News, October 18, 2018, http://newswire.
27. Dennis Pillion, “Cotton Crop Takes Hit Alabama Farmers Fear Michael Totals.
‘Once in a Lifetime’ Harvest Could Be Lost,” Birmingham News, 53. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
October 12, 2018, Sec. A, p. 14. 54. “State Data,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research
28. Katie Nichols, “Crop Insurance Not a Guaranteed Payout for Service, accessed March 6, 2019,
Farmers,” Extension Daily, October 17, 2018, aspx?StateFIPS=13&StateName=Georgia&ID=17854.
blog/topics/farming/crop-insurance-not-a-guaranteed-payout-for-farmers/. 55. Ibid.
29. Dennis Pillion, “Hurricane Michael May Cost Alabama Farmers 56. “Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Agriculture,” accessed
$204 Million,”, October 24, 2018, October 24, 2018,
news/erry-2018/10/365a94e71b4323/hurricane-michael-may-cost- articles/497-hurricane-michaels-impact-on-agriculture.
ala.html#incart_river_index. 57. Lenni Wells, “Preliminary Acreage and Crop Loss Values for
30. Hurricane Michael Alabama Agriculture 2018 Damage Assessment Report, Georgia Pecans After Hurricane Michael,” October 17, 2018,
Alabama Cooperative Extension System, accessed November 1, 2018, and-crop-loss-values-for-georgia-pecans-after-hurricane-michael/.
hurricane-michael-agriculture-damage-assessment-report.pdf. 58. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
31. Pillion, “Cotton Crop Takes Hit Alabama Farmers Fear Harvest Lost.” 59. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Vegetable Production in Georgia,
32. “State Data,” United States Department of Agriculture Economic University of Georgia Extension,
Research Service, accessed March 5, 2019, https://data.ers.usda. extension/publications/files/pdf/TP%20105_1.PDF.
gov/reports.aspx?ID=17854. 60. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
33. Ibid. 61. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Vegetable Production, UGA Extension.
34. Justin Miller, “Hurricane Deals Heavy Blow to Alabama 62. Ibid.
Agriculture,” Extension Daily, October 23, 2018, 63. Jennifer Brett, “Michael’s Agriculture Toll in Ga. May Hit $3B,”
blog/2018/10/23/hurricane-deals-heavy-blow-to-alabama-agriculture/. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 19, 2018, pp. 1B.
35. Pillion, “Hurricane Michael Cost Alabama $307 Million.” 64. “Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Agriculture.”
36. Forest Resource Report 2017, Alabama Forestry Commission, 65. “State Data,” USDA Economic Research Service.
accessed March 5, 2019, 66. Ibid.
Management/Forms/Forest_Resource_Report_2017.pdf. 67. Andrew J. Skerritt, “A $4B Blow; Timing Couldn’t Have Been Worse
37. Ibid. for Many Farmers,” Tallahassee Democrat, October 23, 2018, p. A5.
38. Hurricane Michael Alabama Agriculture 2018 Damage Assessment 68. Hurricane Michael’s Impact on Georgia’s Ag Economy, UGA Extension.
Report, Alabama Cooperative Extension System. 69. Ibid.
39. Anna Beahm, “Alabama Lost $20 Million in Timber to 70. Ibid.
Hurricane Michael,”, October 23, 2018, https://www. 71. Georgia House Bill 1A (2017). 72. Georgia House Bill 4A (2017).
hurricane-michael.html. 73. Terry England, “Mid-Year Budget Awaiting Governor’s Signature,” Barrow
40. Forest Resource Report 2017, Alabama Forestry Commission. Journal, March 1, 2019,
41. Pillion, “Hurricane Michael May Cost Alabama Farmers $204 Million.” England-Mid-year-budget-awaiting-governors-signature.html.


Alabama • Arkansas • Florida • Georgia • Kentucky • Louisiana • Mississippi • Missouri
North Carolina • Oklahoma • South Carolina • Tennessee • Texas • Virginia • West Virginia

This report was prepared by Anne Roberts Brody, pol- government policy issues facing Southern states. Member
icy analyst and committee liaison of the Agriculture & outreach in state capitols, leadership development and staff
Rural Development Committee of the Southern Legislative exchange programs, meetings, domestic and international
Conference, chaired by Senator Daniel B. Verdin III of South delegation study tours, and policy fly-ins by the Southern
Carolina. This report reflects the policy research made avail- Office support state policymakers and legislative staff in their
able to appointed and elected state officials by the Southern work to build a stronger region.
Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG).
Established in 1947, the SLC is a member-driven organization
Opened in 1959 as the final regional office of CSG, the and serves as the premier public policy forum for Southern
mission of the Southern Office is to promote and strengthen state legislatures. The SLC Annual Meeting and a broad array
intergovernmental cooperation among its 15-member states, of similarly well-established and successful SLC programs —
predominantly through the programs and services provided focusing on both existing and emerging state government
by its Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). Legislative innovations and solutions — provide policymakers diverse
leadership, members and staff depend on the SLC to identify opportunities to interact with policy experts and share their
and analyze solutions for the most prevalent and unique state knowledge with colleagues.

Southern Legislative Conference and SLC are trademarks registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.