ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Georgia's agriculture industry took a $2.5 billion hit after Hurricane Michael. Six months later and farmers in the state have yet to see any federal monetary assistance. Many farmers said their patience is wearing thin with frustrations heightened this week after a major disaster relief bill stalled in congress.
Even for farmers who managed to replant a portion of their crop this year the road ahead is long and expensive. It will be ten years before pecan farmers will start profiting off of these saplings.
"We're struggling immensely," said Eric Cohen, pecan farmer in Bainbridge.
Georgia farmers furious after the U.S. Senate failed to move forward on competing plans for more than $13 billion in disaster relief.
“I just wish for once they would put the politics aside and help the American farmer down here,” said Cohen.
The impasse over how much assistance should be allotted for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling the Trump administration's response to the U.S. territory cruel and nasty.
"President Trump tweets while Puerto Rico suffers," said Sen Schumer, D-New York.
Georgia Senator David Perdue charges Democrats are holding farmers’ hostage for their own political gain as Georgians like Cohen have to spend millions of dollars on cleaning up and re-planting pecan trees without insurance or federal aid.
“They're gambling with people's lives Mr. President and I don't overstate that. Some people won't recover from this, they'll get out of farming,” said Sen. Perdue.
Out of this farm's 38,000 pecan trees, 30,000 were uprooted after Hurricane Michael bulldozed through southwest Georgia. And that's only a small fraction of the total damage in the Peach State. Farmers are still reeling from a $2.5 billion hit to the agriculture industry.
“Put yourself in our shoes. You're in a different area of the country, everything's rosy. Come down here, I'll show you the blue tent world, I'll show you all these farms that were destroyed. I'll take you and show you family farms that are fixing to go out of business,” said Cohen.
It's unclear when farmers will see their first dime of federal aid now with uncertainty of lawmakers' next steps.