Sugar cane farmers deal with flooding - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sugar cane farmers deal with flooding

(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB) (Source: WAFB)

When it is time to harvest sugar cane, the crew at Woods Farms in Assumption Parish work seven days a week, 12 plus hours a day, rain or shine. 

"It's all about bringing the best quality cane to the factory, and we're going to try and do that," said co-owner Kevin Falcon. 

Falcon said this year’s season started in a drought. The farmer said they were hoping for a little rain, but thanks to a collision of weather forces they got a flood. 

Falcon said they got around 11 inches of rain. Levels he hasn't seen in the area in more than a decade.  

"I think it was in 2001, we had 14 inches of rain," said Falcon. "When you get 14 inches, 11 inches you remember those days. We're going to remember this." 

Wind and rain left yards of cane knocked over, laying on top of what is now thick mud. However, the harvest won’t stop. 

The worry now is the quality of the sugar cane. Falcon said the wet ground means mud and leaves are mixed in with the chopped cane. That makes it harder for the mill to extract the sugar. The less sugar the cane producers, the less money the farmers make.

A lot of water was still standing days after the rain. That can cause problems for the young sugar cane plant that will be harvested next year. If the water doesn’t dry up soon, those young crops could rot. 

"It's definitely not going to help the plant next year," said Falcon. 

Experience tells Falcon it will take a few weeks for the water to drain and the ground to dry, and that's if Mother Nature is feeling sunny. However, his crew said they'll adjust and keep working, just like they always have.  

"We're farmers and we deal with it," said Falcon. 

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