Farmers hurt most by Isidore
Published 1:20 am Wednesday, October 2, 2002
By By ROBBIE BYRD – Special to The Standard
While Isidore caused minimal damage to most homes and businesses in the Brewton area, officials say the worst damage from the storm will be felt by local farmers.
With cotton and peanut crops ready to harvest, the rain has caused area farmers a costly delay.
Buck Farrior, Escambia County Extension Coordinator, said that the rains might cause a severe decrease in the quality of the cotton harvest and, even worse, lower volumes in peanut harvests.
Farrior said crops in the area were in "good shape" before the storms arrival.
Farrior said that a great deal of cotton was pounded by the downpour, all the way from Brewton to Walnut Hill, Fla.
Rain on open bolls of cotton causes the cotton to become stringy and fall to the ground, reducing the quality grade of the cotton and reducing farmers' total yield.
Because of the massive volume of rain over the last few days, farmers' hands are still tied for several days as they wait for waters to subside.
Peanut farmers, which prevail in the area, are in worse shape than some cotton farmers, Farrior said. The quality of their yield might be in jeopardy, but most are worried if they'll even have a harvest at all.
But by far, the biggest problem peanut farmers face is that peanuts are literally falling off the vine into the ground, making them completely un-harvestable.
Farrior said that while farmers are frustrated, the only thing they can do is wait.