Hurricane Damages NC Tobacco Crop

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Before Hurricane Irene smacked North Carolina tobacco plants, farmers were headed for may have been the best crop in decades. Now, growers rush to save a few acres of shredded leaves before they rot on the dying stalks, the math looks different. The green-gold tobacco leaves - which normally this time of year would be spread wide, waiting to be plucked, dried at a careful pace and taken to market - were hanging straight down, shriveled, with the stalks leaning the way that the wind had pushed them.
That's what the state's latest agricultural disaster looks like: wilted leaves, angled stalks, a tangle of cotton plants with fat bolls that had looked unusually promising but now might not open. Subtle stuff to everyone but the hundreds of farmers who now face what may be their worst losses ever. "That's not vacation cottages, it's these people's whole way of making a living, and the impact will spread throughout all the people and businesses that rely on farmers," said Graham Boyd, executive vice president of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina. "It's a tragedy, just terrible, terrible stuff." State and federal officials say it will be at least weeks before the full extent of the farm losses are known, but the effect on tobacco, which is grown in much of the area where the storm punched hardest, is extensive. Hurricane crop damage means higher prices to consumer, but it is far harder of those who love depends on their crops. If your crop was destroyed by a Hurricane, contact a hurricane damage attorney to see you get the best compensation for your lost crop.

Hurricane Irene Destroys Tobacco Crop

Agronomists are supporting the farmers reports of total crop loss. "Most of the counties I cover, pretty much any tobacco still in the field is going to be close to a 100 percent loss," said Dianne Farrer, a regional agronomist for the state who works in more than a dozen eastern counties, including some of the state's biggest tobacco producers. "I've talked to several growers, and they're just disheartened," she said. "If it's leaned over or knocked over, they can't harvest mechanically, and if they don't get in and harvest what's left by hand, by the end of the week it will be lost." Farmers can get federally backed crop insurance, and many are covered for losses of 70 percent or 75 percent of their harvest last year, Boyd said. Most, though, expected a bigger crop at better prices this year, so the gap between real losses and the insurance payments could be huge. It's only designed as a safety net to help farmers pay the bills they piled up planting a year's crops, not cover their expected profits, he said. Farm crews usually make about four harvest-time passes through tobacco fields. First, they take the lowest leaves, which ripen first, then work their way up as the leaves turn gold, taking a few leaves with each round. The later rounds are the most valuable.

Hurricane Damage Lawyer

When Hurricanes and other storms cause significant damage like Irene, insurance companies are reluctant to pay claims. It just isn't profitable for them. State Farm reported more than $766 million in profits in 2010 according to CNN Money. Get the Clore Law Group's hurricane insurance dispute lawyers to represent your claim. Read more:

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