Local News

Wind, Hail Take Shot At State's Tobacco Fields

Posted July 9, 2002

— It seems like farmers in some parts of the area just cannot get a break. They are staggering under a drought and rather than much-needed rain, some got hail.

Strong storms swept across the area on Friday, bringing rain the farmers needed and hail that they certainly did not.

"This was a beautiful field of tobacco until Mother Nature decided she was going to take it," county Extension Director Ken Bateman said.

Bateman said the losses from the storm could run into the millions of dollars and will be felt across the county.

"You take out a million here and a million there, it is going to affect us. We better believe it is," he said.

For farmers, Bateman said every cloud does not have a silver lining.

"A dark cloud doesn't mean you're going to get rain or the moisture that we need," he said.

Other crops were hit by the hail, but because the leaves are what are valued on a tobacco plant they took the brunt of the damage from this storm.

Hail damage from the storm has been reported in several counties and officials are working now on damage reports. Those will be added to drought damage reports and could help gain federal disaster declaration for the state.

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