Farmers will begin assessment today of the damage wrought by Hurricane Michael as it passed through the region, with cotton as potentially the crop hardest hit by the storm.
Less than 10 percent of the cotton had already been harvested in both Georgia and the Carolinas. Cotton from the southeastern U.S. makes up 30 percent of the country’s total production. Between the harsh weather and the 25 percent tariff on cotton going into China during the trade war, growers are literally caught between a rock and a “wet” place.
Wayne Boseman, president of the Carolina Cotton Growers Cooperative, says they started off the year doing well. “Now, the hurricane is taking away the crop and the trade war is taking away the price,” Boseman says. “That combination is putting farmers in severe financial constraints.”
The storm, originally a category 4 hurricane when it hit the Florida panhandle on Wednesday, was downgraded to category one while moving into Georgia and heading to the Carolinas.