The Category 4 Hurricane Laura will most likely have a powerful effect on farming. The cultivators of Louisiana are getting their skates on and reaping the produce early and are scurrying their livestock into a shelter. Subject to severe damage are the main crops rice, soya bean, sugar cane, and maize.
The Disastrous Effect of Laura
The state’s soya bean crop will be subject to severe damage by Laura. The Hurricane plans to hit Louisiana near the Texas line and move towards Arkansas. Andrew Granger the Louisiana State University AgCenter agent in Vermilion Parish says, “It looks like Hurricane Rita.”
A few farmers fear that their cattle may be harmed so they are leading them to a highland and away from the shoreline to ensure safety.
Sources say that the tides may rise to 20 feet and submerge the land for a distance of 40-50 miles. Hotel rooms are secured for the refugees in advance even considering minimizing COVID-19 influence.
Many farmers have come together to support each other and have been harvesting without a night’s sleep and are bracing themselves for the storm to hit.
Bad timing for the Louisiana harvesters
LSU AgCenter agent Dustin Harrell states that, approximately 3,75,000 acres of rice field occupies the state and that the harvest is almost complete.
Immediately following the main harvest, another special kind of rice called ratoon rice is cultivated. It is very crucial economically in some parts of Louisiana and Texas as they do not have to invest too much into growing it. Harrell says, “The hurricane could exterminate the prospective of the ratoon crop”.
The wind is an important factor to be concerned about.
Gales at a speed of 40 to 50 mph are enough to tear the stalks of the sugarcane. Everyone thought that this year’s sugarcane yield will be the best. But, people are still not willing to take the risk. In other words, they do not want to wait out the harvest so they began to tear out the crop right now.
LSU AgCenter agent in Richland, Franklin, and Ouachita parishes, Keith Collins is very apprehensive about the damage that Laura will inflict. Moreover, they can cut the corn only when it is knocked to the ground. Collins says, “This corn is dry and very susceptible to breakage. If everything falls right with the rows, they are more apt to get it. If it is off the ground at all, they can get it”. The yield turned out to be ample and good.
Finally, Laura Hurricane would have a catastrophic side effect on the harvesters in and around Arkansas and Louisiana.