Ida's rain delays harvests

Posted by: Jennifer Oravet - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Farmers in Alabama are generally conditioned to dry, scorching weather in the summer and fall, but this year; its been anything but.  Actually, farmers say its ending much like it started, wet and saturated.
"Everybody is frantic. Farmers are resilient, we're not much for whining, but everybody's down."
In a time where farmers are generally celebrating the fruits of their labor - most say the harvesting labor hasn't even started.
"The ground has to be dry enough for the equipment to stand up."
At this point, farmers like Morris need at least two weeks of dry weather to begin harvesting crops like cotton and soybeans - time they may never have.
The days are getting shorter, the angle of the sun drops and things just don't dry like they do when the sun is directly overhead."
The damage continues at the cotton gin.  It's normally bustling with activity in November; but today, the only sound you hear is the rain, pounding on gin's tin roof.
"We normally have ginned 12,000 bails by this point.  Right now, we've ginned 3,500."
A crop, at this point, measured more by the amount of rain in the fields, rather than the bails of cotton in the shipping bay. 
"This year its been the wettest October in history." states farmer Shep Morris. 
Drop by drop, the rain continues to weigh down the crops, saturate the fields and take a toil on farmers who thought they'd seen it all.

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