After Hurricane Irene made landfall in August of 2011, Hyde County North Carolina saw significant crop losses due to storm surge, heavy rains and high winds. While Hurricane Sandy had the capacity to do significant damage, NC State Cooperative Extension Director for Hyde County, Mac Gibbs says they’ve come out okay:
“We have come through well. The rainfall has been anywhere from 2.5-4”. We have not had any flooding because the winds had blown a lot of water out of the ditches, giving them more carrying capacity. We were about 60% along in harvesting cotton and 75% in harvesting soybeans.”
Cotton had the most to loose with the storm, but Gibbs explains that the cotton yields in the county have been extremely good, and producers don’t see anything different:
“Cotton yields have been better than we thought they were going to be. We are picking a lot of 1200 pound cotton. The farmers feel that they have only lost about 100-150 pounds from this storm.”
And as far as storm surge, Gibbs says there wasn’t any:
“We were lucky, if anything we might have gotten a foot. The wind direction has really helped us.”
Most of the soybeans left in Hyde County, according to Gibbs were late-planted double crop:
“Soybeans were late ones planted after wheat. They really were not over ripe where they would get a lot of damage from this rain.”
So now it’s just a waiting game to get back into the field says Gibbs:
“Our concern right now is how quickly the fields will dry up so we can get the wheat planted. We have about 35% planted so far.”
So, all in all Hyde County saw Sandy come and go without any significant effect, and no salt water in the fields.
Mac Gibbs, NC State Extension Director for Hyde County.