TWIGGS COUNTY, Ga. — Farmer Judson Herrington in Twiggs County thinks back to this past fall when his cotton crops were almost ready to be picked. "We probably had the biggest cotton crop we've ever harvested."
"With all the rain from Michael plus all the rain we had in November and December, it pushed our harvest back about 60 days behind normal," he says, adding that he just finished picking all the crop from last year a few weeks ago.
Herrington and his brother planted 2,000 acres of cotton last year and the hurricane destroyed half of that. "We lost at least 2,000 bales of cotton at 500 pounds, 75 cents a pound. It was a large loss."
And he is not the only one who is dealing with the loss.
The Georgia Cotton Commission released a statement this week saying they are disappointed with the federal government's lack of response. The federal budget signed by President Trump Friday did not include any disaster aid for Georgia farmers.
Taylor Sills from the Georgia Cotton Commission says, "Our UGA cotton team estimates over a $600 million loss from the 2018 cotton crop due to Hurricane Michael."
This is more than 4 times the loss from Hurricane Irma the previous year, and that is why federal help is key to this planting season.
"I've been in contact with folks in Washington today. Some people say two months is the timeline, some say we need it much faster than that," he says.
Cotton farmers begin planting their crops in April and harvest is around October.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released a statement congratulating President Trump on signing the budget and declaring an emergency at the border.
He also added that he will continue to push for help for Georgia farmers.