If any solace can be found following Hurricane Florence, it is to remember the adage “no two years are alike in farming.”
After a devastating 2018, farmers across the Carolinas are certainly due for a picture-perfect crop next year with cooperative weather, just the right amount of rain and ideal conditions at harvest to produce a bin-busting crop.
Still, it is hard to find encouragement at this time. North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler understands the great despair experienced by those farmers hammered by Florence.
“Being a farmer myself I have lived through some disasters and I understand it. You don’t have a choice. You put your head down, you bow your neck and you go forward. After what I’ve seen, there are some definite disasters out there,” he said, following a flyover after Florence, viewing the most impacted part of the state.
“Pray for the people in the affected area,” he said “Every time I do this, I come back almost distraught from what I’ve seen. When you see people’s homes under water, farms under water, crops under water, it’s a pitiful situation, but we in North Carolina have always been a place of partnerships and a place where neighbor helps neighbor, and we will depend on that this time for a better outcome."
Troxler says there are a lot of ifs right now and unfortunately most of those ifs look negative.
“2015 was an exceptionally wet year in eastern North Carolina and then we had Hurricane Matthew in 2016. We had a decent crop in 2017 and now we have Florence. It’s been ugly, and we’re going to have to do everything we can to help our farmers so they will be back again.”
North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten is confident farmers will persevere. “Our thoughts and concerns go out to those farmers and farm families. In North Carolina, we’ve been here before. We know what this is. We don’t like it. We will weather this storm, but it will take some time,” he said.
After a devastating 2018, North Carolina and South Carolina farmers deserve a bumper crop next year. Here’s hoping and praying for a banner 2019 with record crops across the board.