Ida Causes Millions In Damage To Cotton, Other North Escambia Crops

November 11, 2009


Preliminary reports show that Tropical Storm Ida caused or heavily contributed to millions of dollars in losses on Escambia County’s farms.

“Agricultural losses are significant for peanuts, soybeans, hay, and cotton,” said Suzette Cooper, Farm Services Agency. The damage, she said, was not from Ida’s winds, but from four to seven inches of rain in a 12 hour period. That rain only served to further the crop losses from heavy rains in October.

Of the county’s 8,218 acres of cotton, there were 6,164 acres affected by Ida, with 20 percent of that acreage considered a loss. Escambia County’s cotton crop is worth an estimated $6 million.

“With all of the rain, there is some terrible looking cotton,” according to Libbie Johnson, Escambia County Extension University of Florida IFAS agent. “There is one field I know of on Highway 97 that was so pretty Saturday and Sunday. Some of it was harvested, and now the rest is basically ruined.”

Losses were also heavy to the peanut crop in Escambia County. There are 4,752 acres of peanuts in the county, with 2,376 acres impacted by Ida. Thirty percent are lost.

“The rain can cause a lot of disease to the peanuts still in the ground, and the peanuts can sprout,” Johnson said. She said the peanuts that were already dug and on top of the ground will be impacted less by the rains, but wet fields will prevent farmers from completing the harvest for several days.

There were also 1,159 acres of hay, 1,470 acres of soybeans and 200 acres of pecans impacted by Ida.

Pictured top: Wet cotton sags to the ground in a Walnut Hill field Tuesday afternoon following Tropical Storm Ida. photo, click to enlarge.


7 Responses to “Ida Causes Millions In Damage To Cotton, Other North Escambia Crops”

  1. puddin on November 12th, 2009 5:42 pm

    What storm?!!! For pity sake, I’ve seen worst summer showers. What was the big deal, and why did the farmers loose all that cotton? I’m a transplanted city gal, so I just don’t get it. I’ve been here since ‘92 and we have these storms every year.

    As for the farmers, you bet they work hard. I’m surrounded by cotton fields,p’nut fields, soy beans, etc. They bust thier behinds, all the time. Go FARMERS!!! You all rock!!!

  2. Kim F. on November 11th, 2009 9:47 pm

    Your tax dollars, better known as “farm subsidies” will help out the farmers.

  3. Dimwit on November 11th, 2009 2:13 pm

    I highly doubt that the losses of one small area in the united states will impact prices on the national or global cotton trade. In other words, the prices arent fixed by escambia production or lack thereof.

  4. Local resident on November 11th, 2009 12:50 pm

    I know that farmer neighbor, since I grew up on one of those farms. It’s exceptionally long hours of very hard labor. We do the best we can do. Of course it’s a tragedy for those of us who depend on this for our livelihood. I was simply making the next point in the progression of this story: prices will go up. It’s common sense and in no way meant to demean what farmers do.

  5. farmer neighbor on November 11th, 2009 11:03 am

    The farmers work very hard. They can not stop a storm. It is sad to see all the hard work that they do go down the drain. Next time you put on a warn coat, eat bread,corn,peanuts think of the farmers and how they feel now. These men and women work very hard we should be thankful for them and praying for them. They can not help that the prices of these products will go up.

  6. Elizabeth on November 11th, 2009 8:14 am

    Sunday night I went to the grocery store really late. I noticed the extra long hours the farmers were putting in. At 11 o’ clock they still had the combines going, trying to get in as much as they could before the storm.

  7. Local resident on November 11th, 2009 6:39 am

    So in other words, folks, count on the price of clothes and peanuts and soybeans and anything related to those going up in the near future.

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