AL farmers face one-two punch from weather, trade war

AL farmers face one-two punch from weather, trade war
Shaver's hay field produced nearly 200 bales of hay but not all are the same quality thanks to the rain. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Shaver's hay field produced nearly 200 bales of hay but not all are the same quality thanks to the rain. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

GOSHEN, AL (WSFA) - Jim Shaver would love to take the next step in protecting his cotton crop. The problem is farmers like him are getting too much of a good thing, too much rain.

According to Shaver, he has averaged around two inches per week in recent months, "And I'm going to tell you it's hard to produce in a wet year," he said.

Consequently,  Shaver is two sprays behind because the ground is too soft for the big sprayer. Compounding the challenge is the fact the rain has caused his cotton crop to grow too thick, too high where the growth needs to be in the actual cotton.

In short, the crop is not 'fruiting' enough.

"The more excess growth you have, you have more room between your squares," Shaver explained.

A few miles away, Shaver's hay field produced nearly 200 bales of hay but not all are the same quality thanks to the rain.

"Rained on hay is a poorer quality," the farmer pointed out.

And then you have the trade war, a concern for many farmers. U.S. Rep. Martha Roby said Tuesday she believes the short-term pain will be worth it for the long-term.

"The bad actors have to play by the rules, so what I'm hearing from our farmers is they are concerned but remain optimistic," Roby expressed.

And yet folks like Shaver keep plunging ahead in the gritty fields of farming. "I'm a person born in this type life," he admitted.

Shaver and his brother are third generation farmers in Pike County and farm around 1,800 acres including more than 100 heads of cattle.

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