Unlike the Gulf Coast, which Katrina seemed to tear asunder with one large swipe, the crop damage in Trigg County is hardly uniform, dependant on a field’s topography.
Some farmers suffered only minor wind damage. Others saw more than 20-acres of farmland submerged.
“I’m blessed — I don’t have any [low spots],” said Joe Fooshee. Speaking at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, Aug. 31, Fooshee said he farms 90 acres of corn in addition to his vegetable garden.
Ben Cundiff — with several thousand acres of land — had the odds stacked against him.
“It’s all kind of speculative right now,” he said last week of damage to his crops, though he estimated it could tally $100,000.
Though the rains may cause tobacco to wilt or be blown over in the soft soil and while it came to late for most cornfields, Cundiff said the rain will provide soybeans — those that weren’t submerged in water, at least — with a “boost.”
“There’s a certain leveling that goes on there,” he said. “We didn’t think we were going to have a bean harvest this year.”
And while most fields no longer have standing water on them, Katrina’s effects will still be felt for the months to come.
For instance, the number of toppled and broken corn stalks will make for a slow harvest this year. Soft ground will also slow the harvest of tobacco, which will in turn be more susceptible to frost.
Cundiff suggested that the costliest damage from Katrina will be of the indirect variety. Unlike the wind and rain damage, its impact does not vary with topography.
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.