Constant rains still affecting farming - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Constant rains still affecting farming

JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

"Right now, we're in the heat of the battle and we've got rice that should've been cut three weeks ago or a month ago and it hasn't been cut yet," said Jeff Davis Parish farmer, Larry Lyons.  

KPLC was there the day before Lyons was supposed to begin cutting rice in his fields, but because of severe rain and floods, he couldn't. Now, three weeks later, he's still waiting. 

"In the last three weeks we've gotten 18 inches of rain and you know it hasn't stopped yet," Lyons said.

Because of the constant rain, fields have started to flood and because of the winds, some of the stalks in these fields are completely destroyed. 

A healthy soybean stalk is green, full and ripe, but after days of constant rain and winds, stalks have brown, rotten bean pods.

The problem isn't only with cutting the crops, transporting the crops to dryers and mills is also a struggle.

"Well, we've got some in the bin that's cut and dry and we're waiting to ship," Lyons said.  "But the roads are so bad we can't get big trucks in right now." 

Lyons said the longer these crops remain on the ground, damaged and diseased, the more money that's drawn out of the pocketbooks of farmers. 

"It's one of those situations if you could imagine that you had a half a million dollars in the bank and every day that it rained you lost 5 percent," Lyons said. "It wouldn't take you very long to figure out that in 20 days, you wouldn't have any money left and basically that's what's happening to the farmers."

So, with just over a month left in the season, Lyons holds onto little grains of hope. 

"You can always salvage," he said. "You're going to get all you can get out of the field. It just depends on how much you're going to get out ... all I want is the weatherman to give us a zero percent chance of rain."

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

 

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