BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Farmers may not know the full extent of the damage done to their crops by Hurricane Sally for a couple weeks, but the early reports do not look good.
Pecan orchards, cotton fields and peanut fields appear to have suffered the most damage, according to Mitt Walker, director of national affairs with the Alabama Farmers Federation. But with power lines down and so much flooding left behind, it could be at least a few days before farmers are able to fully assess the damage.
Walker said farmers across the state are hoping for the best, but it appears now that the damage will prove to be significant. It could lead to problems with cotton and peanuts, in particular. And there may be long-term effects even in the crops that do survive.
“The concern would be that when they do get into harvesting: do we have yield loss, do we have quality loss, what are some of those issues they may run into that basically makes that crop less valuable than it would have been before the storm,” Walker said.
ALFA already is working to help farmers. Walker said the organization has reached out to its congressional delegation, and they’ve been in contact with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He said there are federal assistance programs to help farmers in the aftermath of the storm.