Heavy rains wash away farmers' profits

By: Denise Bradberry Email
By: Denise Bradberry Email

Heavy rains are playing a toll on this year's harvest season.

Cotton, peanut and soybean crops are being affected.

The Wiregrass has received more than its fair share of rain this week and now many of these crops are paying the price.

Carl Sanders, President of the Alabama Peanut Producers Association says recent rain has destroyed about 30-40% of crops across the state.

"Individual farmers and individual fields, a lot of them have 100% loss. The ones that harvested early worked out really good, but the ones harvested later on, we're really struggling with," says Sanders.

Coffee County Extension Coordinator Stan Windham says farmers simply can't get into the fields to harvest.

10% of the county's peanuts are still on the vine.

"As the vine gets old it gets hard to separate the peanut from the vine," says Windham.

He also estimates that nearly half of the cotton crops have yet to be picked.

"They not only can't get to what they have but if they ever do, they're going to take a big hit on money," says Windham.

"Crop insurance will at the very best get your expenses back, that means the farmer worked all year for nothing," says Sanders.
"Watching something you know is good and it's ready and you can do well with it and you just have to sit there and watch it, you just can't do anything about it," says Windham.

But Windham says Wiregrass extension offices and the USDA are working hard to get disaster status to help recoup some of the loss.

"We know, we're well aware of how devastating this is,” says Windham.

The rain is also preventing farmers from being able to fertilize grass put out for grazing livestock.

We'll be sure to keep you updated on whether or not those disaster declarations come through.

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