MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Farmers are at the mercy of mother nature, and all across the Tennessee Valley heavy rains left low-lying land near rivers with water covering crops.
“We’ve got soybeans over on the Flint and had quite a few acres underwater. Over here on the Paint Rock, primarily got corn over here and I’m sure the waters been ear level or so on certain parts of it,” said farmer Charles Butler.
Butler says he’s been farming for nearly half a century and the recent flooding took him off guard.
“Usually from December to maybe May typically we have flooding in these low-lying areas but I can’t remember one in September though,” says Butler.
He added the last time his cornfields flooded this bad was with Hurricane Ivan.
Madison County farmer Brandon Moore says the weather is crucial for a good growing season.
“The weather is really important and as much as we try to time crops to take the most advantage of the weather patterns we have, a lot of times we miss it by a long shot. We can buy all the equipment and technology we can afford, but we still have to farm at nature’s pace,” said Moore.
Moore also said this year’s additional rain created good growing conditions but has also delayed his harvest, which is why corn and cotton are still in fields.
“We’re about two weeks behind on corn crops and cotton is still about three to four weeks behind,” says Moore.
He said now they need the weather to dry out and warm-up for the cotton to be ready to harvest.
“While it feels good to have some good fall football weather, the cotton really needs some dry weather and some more heat units to dry on out and be ready to defoliate,” says Moore.
Butler says they really won’t be able to tell the impact that the rain and heavy floods had on the crops until they are able to harvest them. They hope to be able to harvest high ground later this week.