Facing tornadoes and all around unfriendly Mother Nature, farmers still hanging on

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - Between excess rain and periods of prolonged heat, farmers have seen it all this year.  As Tennessee Valley residents clean up from Monday's tornadoes, we checked in with one farmer in Meridianville to see how the storms impacted his business.

Farmer James says his family is now down a tractor. Their second tractor, an old family relic is now certified tornado tough.

"He's had it for 51 years!" said James.

This year, James and his fellow farmers dealt with heavy rains and prolonged dry spells. Had the weather been perfect this year, the tornado could have hit at a crucial time for harvesting.

"Everything finished a month earlier than in normal years. You couldn't plow the vegetables, you couldn't even fertilize anything because it was raining every single day," said James.

Thankfully, his fields were empty. Storm debris from who knows how far away won't be a major impact on the farm's bottom line.

Although, their carport had recently been paid off and 3 chickens were killed.

It's an experience that truly came and went in a blink of an eye.

"We were watching tv, Channel 19 News. And they said, 'Take cover in Meridianville!' My wife was looking out the door, we kept telling her, 'Come in, come in!'" said James.

Seconds later, the family took cover.

These farmers have been through it all but at the end of the day, family comes first.

"All this stuff can be fixed. I can buy new stuff. We are still good to go."

The farmer expects the cleanup could take another week because the tornado dropped nails all over his fields.

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