What is in this article?:
- Alabama growers pick up the pieces after weekend floods
- Soil remained in place
• Farmers Bob Luker and James White say this isn't the first time the area has flooded, but the unexpected storms have left them with an uncertain future.
A NEW FENCE near James White's farm buckled from the weight of debris and water following floods that affected a bulk of Talladega County.
Portions of Talladega County, Ala., remained under water Monday following heavy rainfall that began Friday night.
Farmers Bob Luker and James White say this isn't the first time the area has flooded, but the unexpected storms have left them with an uncertain future.
"Some farmers I know received nearly 10 inches of rain this weekend, which makes the nearly-three inches I received not seem like that much," said Luker, who has around 2,000 acres of row crops in central and northwestern Talladega County.
"But that much rain in just a few short hours drowned around 500 acres of corn and wheat, and it changes the layout for the remainder of our year."
Luker said a wetter-than-average spring had already put him two months behind in planting corn — some acreage of which he had to replant once already. He's not sure if he'll be able to get in the fields in time to plant cotton before it's too late, or if he'll have to go with an early crop of soybeans instead.
"We may not be able to plant anything, especially if the wet trends continue," he said.
"The prospects now aren't good at all."
Instead of this week's plan to plant cotton, Luker said assessing the planting prospective on a field-by-field basis will be his focus. While the flood drowned a chunk of his future profit potential, this fourth-generation farmer says he may have fared better than most thanks to crop insurance and his conservation practices.
"We are a 100-percent no-till farm," he added. "That's really been a bright spot during this — seeing some of the things you do right.
“On a 300-acre field we have that's a total loss now, it's especially come in handy. Because it hadn't been plowed up in 11 years, it had a good cover crop on it and a good amount of crop residue. A lot of the residue washed away, but we can put more residue down.