Last October, Hurricane Michael roared across southwest Georgia, laying waste to cotton fields, pecan orchards and pine groves. It blew apart barns and chicken houses, mangled irrigation systems and ripped up fences. It scattered cattle and pulled down power lines.
And because so many here rely on timber as a safe haven for savings, it crushed retirement plans, wiped out inheritances and left many farmers without the collateral they need to get loans to plant this year’s row crops.
Hurricane Michael, which struck at the onset of what was expected to be a prosperous harvest, exposed the vulnerabilities of farmers to intensifying weather patterns. If extreme weather becomes more common, as many climate scientists predict, the disruption to southwest Georgia’s economy could be just beginning.
Read the rest of the story at Collateral here.