Hurricane Michael Devastates Florida Farm Families

October 12, 2018

A damaged cotton field in Jackson County

Hurricane Michael ripped through parts of the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, leaving nothing but total destruction behind.

The Category 4 hurricane is the third consecutive tropical storm to strike the Sunshine State since 2016. Hurricane Michael, just shy from being a Category 5, has already made history as being one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the United States.

Power outages are widespread in the region from Tallahassee west to Holmes County. Early assessments of farm losses are currently being conducted throughout the devastated areas. According to a statement by Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Oct. 11, at least three million acres of timberland were impacted. Aquaculture, cotton, dairy, poultry, peanut and tomato production in the area suffered severe damage.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is working with Florida Farm Bureau and various agricultural partners at the local, state and federal levels to assess all agricultural damage.