Ivan could be devastating for cotton farmers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ivan could be devastating for cotton farmers

September 13, 2004

Brooks County - Cotton fields all over South Georgia are waiting to be harvested. "We're chomping at the bit to get started," said Cotton Farmer Van Murphy.

But the soggy weather won't let it happen. "This cotton's got a high moisture content and has to be ginned immediately," said Murphy.

Its the case in most all South Georgia cotton fields, rain soaked blooms and stalks blown to the ground. Farmers like Van Murphy are trying to pick what little crop they have left, but they're running into problems. "The weather's not agreeing with us so we can't salvage this crop," said Brooks County Extension Agent Johnny Whiddon.

Some farmers were able to do a little harvesting over the weekend, but they still lost a lot of their crop. Heavy rain and high winds from Tropical Storm Frances destroyed about 30 percent of the plants. "Its bad now but it could be terrible if we have more wind and rain come in," said Murphy.

And with Hurricane Ivan growing stronger, things aren't looking good. What's now considered a 30 percent loss of crop could be a 90 percent loss next week.

The storm could cause a multi million dollar loss for Murphy. "We need some help, we need the Lord to give us a miracle," said Murphy.

So he'll wait, watch, and pray that the crop he has left won't be washed away.

posted at 3:40 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com