Storms batter crops, delay harvest

LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Cotton, corn and wheat crops in the path of April's tornados took a heavy hit from mother nature.

Some farmers have had to re-sow acres of seed, while other are behind on harvesting.

Wheat crops off Capshaw Road in Limestone County were some of the hardest hit from the tornado. Farmers are having a tough time harvesting because of so much debris.

"We found everything from 2x4's to tin, lawnmowers, air conditioners, parts of mobile homes lot of debris," said farmer Stanley Menefee.

Farmer Jason Sims said the twister that came through Limestone County was the most destructive he's ever seen.

"It destroyed a lot of the crop land we have. The wheat was impacted by taking the heads off the plants," said Sims.

What's left to harvest, Sims said, is thick and there's pieces of rubble pinned under what's planted.

"When we are running the machine we have to get off and move a piece of tin to run through the crop to keep on harvesting," he said.

While one machine works to pluck wheat, another is busy planting soy beans.

Thomas Atkinson, Madison County Executive Director for the USDA, said his office has inspected a third of farm land in the twister's path.

"We are probably somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter million dollars in cost share assistance," said Atkinson.

Farmers, though, are hopeful they can still turn a crop and a profit this year.

"It's a livelihood. If they can see that they can make a dollar, they are going to clean that wheat field up, harvest what they can, take to the mill what is a sellable product," said Atkinson.

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