Hurricane Sally Damages Crops, Delays Harvest
Hurricane Sally made landfall last Wednesday, carrying with her heavy winds, rain, and flooding. Certainly areas of the Florida panhandle and southern Alabama experienced some crop loss, but Agricultural Meteorologist Ryan Martin says there is also likely to be an impact in delaying harvest.
Martin… “The biggest impact is going to be the availability to get back in and harvest. It's just when can they get back at it? Remember those guys were in the throws, they were in the busiest part of harvest and now they have to kind of shut it down. This would be the same as if you had a good six inch rain soaking come through Iowa and Illinois on about October 10th.”
Work is being done to assess the damage, and some areas, like Baldwin County, Alabama, are reporting farmers with total losses. Time will tell on both the immediate damage, and the impact of not being able to harvest.
Martin.. “As long as you're not seeing too bad of wind, which inland you won't, you're not going to talk about serious lodging. It's just with that kind of rain: how soon can you get back in? Moisture sitting on that - does it create some mold issues? That's what we're looking at. It's just, how can we get back to finish what we need to do?”
The slow movement of the storm made it especially damaging along the coast. Farmers that still have crops in the field hope to get a break from the rain to dry things out before quality and quantity further deteriorate.