As heavy rain and strong winds continue in conjunction with Hurricane Sandy, farmers along the eastern U.S. are reporting limited damage, media reports say.
Cotton and soybean crops appear to have suffered little damage in parts of Virginia, several farmers told TidewaterNews.com. John Claud said he’ll just need to wait for his soybean crop to dry out before harvesting can continue.
Speedy harvesting underway on the East Coast before the storm likely will limit damage to crops, The Economic Times reported on its website. Allendale Inc. chief strategist Rich Nelson estimated about 4 million acres of corn remained to be harvested in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Elsewhere, the storm forced a New Jersey farmer to quickly move 35 gypsy horses from New Jersey to eastern Missouri to avoid flooding and the possible collapse of trees, JoplinGlobe.com reported.
Earlier, the hurricane destroyed 20 to 30 percent of coffee farms in Cuba, FoodWorldNews.com reported.
On Monday, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary George Greig urged farmers, particularly in eastern Pennsylvania, to prepare for the potential of heavy rains, flooding and high winds.
"Hurricane Sandy has the potential to cause significant damage to crops and property," Greig said. "Farmers should prepare now to minimize losses."
Greig offered the following tips to help agricultural producers minimize damage caused by floodwaters:
- Ensure manure storage area has sufficient capacity, as rains can add to depth.
- Relocate livestock and animals from low-lying, flood-prone areas.
- Move machinery, feed, grain, pesticides, herbicides, forage bales and nursery stock to higher elevation.
- Store enough livestock feed and water for 72 hours.
- Fill generators with fuel and test them to ensure they are in good repair.
- Disconnect electric power to all buildings that may flood.
Crop farmers should:
- Notify their crop insurance agent within 72 hours of discovery of crop damage.
- Leave intact all residue and crop damage until insurance agents can properly assess extent of damage.
- Contact their agent or the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at 717-705-9511 with questions about crop insurance.
For more information, visit pema.state.pa.us.
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