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Farmers Must Wait and See What Damage Heavy Rains Have Done

Too much of a good thing is often, well, just not good.

While farmers need the rain to grow their crops, the more than 11 inches that have fallen in Lafayette County in just three days has definitely been too much, according to Aileen Bost, owner of Bost Farm.

“It’s a little too much water for any type of farming,” she said Thursday. “The crops need sunshine and dry weather.”

Some of Bost’s row crops are still underwater, and she won’t know the real damage until the water dries up and the fruit of the crop is revealed.

But falling rain was only part of the problem for Bost Farm.

“We had a big tree fall on some of our tomatoes,” she said. “We had to go out there and cut it up and remove the wood. We have one field near the creek, and the creek got out and flooded a lot of it.”

Lance Newman, agricultural extension agent with the Mississippi State University Extension Service branch in Lafayette County, called this week’s rain a “significant event” for farmers.

“We don’t get this much rain at one time often,” he said. “Our creeks, rivers, tributaries and streets are all flooded. There are not enough places for the water to go, and then it backs up onto land.”

Newman said he’s been in touch with several local farmers, and while many expressed concerns for their crops, only time will tell how much they have been affected.

“It’s a wait-and-see,” he said. “Not much they can do right now. Got to let some of this water get off the land and then they can begin assessing the damage.”

Newman said he believes most crops will be OK if the rains are able to drain off fairly quickly.

“Running water is better than water stagnating on top,” he said.

If the damage is significant enough, local leaders could call for a state of emergency, which could open doors to some help for local farmers.

More rain is expected tonight and Friday in Lafayette County.

While a lot of rain has fallen over the last few days, Bost said farmers have been battling a very wet season since spring started.

“It’s been an unusually hard year as far as rain goes,” she said. “Some farmers have crop insurance. We don’t. Prayers – prayers is all we got.”

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