Farmers report little damage from Dennis

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

While Hurricane Dennis hurt Dallas County farmers, many of them still counted their blessings, according to the Farm Service Agency.

Perry Woodruff, of the Agency, said that Dennis wasn’t nearly as damaging as Ivan.

Woodruff said that many crops in the area were bent over from the wind and rain, but much of the crops will be saved, although he couldn’t say how much.

Many area farmers, who grow soybeans, cotton and corn in Dallas County, won’t know how much of their crop is lost until the plants &8220;stand up.&8221;

Still it was a lot worse with Ivan, Woodruff said, especially for cotton crops.

When Ivan came in, the cotton plants were closer to harvest time.

Woodruff said that much of the crop was literally blown away as the cotton bolls were open at the time.

In fact, Woodruff said, the damage was so low that the FSA didn’t activate the Emergency Conservation Practices program.

The ECP is a cost-share program, administered by the federal government, that allows farmers to recoup a portion of their losses from the storm.

Woodruff said claims were still coming in from Ivan, but the damage reported was so slight, he said that the FSA didn’t think it was necessary with Dennis.

Most of the rest of Alabama farmers issued similar reports.

In a statement from Ron Sparks, state Agriculture Commissioner, the overall damage was &8220;minimal to moderate.&8221;

Baldwin, Escambia and Monroe Counties, however, reported major damage.