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Despite flood losses, farmers still have hope for successful season
As the flooding recovery continues in Northwest Florida, area farmers are also feeling the effects from the damage.
Despite the loss, those farmers still hold hope for the season.
It was flooding we will never forget.
"I've never seen anything like that," says Copeland Griswold of C & W Farms. "Never. We had 21 inches here in 14 days."
Copeland Griswold is a farming legend. From hurricanes to tornadoes to drought, he's pretty much seen it all. He says, "Used to be when I first started you'd see a cloud coming you could about tell if you were going to get 1 inch or 2 inches. But now you may get 7, 10, 12,"
This flooding not only hurt the farmers existing plants, but also the potential for future growth.
"It was major for me," says Griswold. "I don't know how many tons of topsoil I lost. I lost chemicals. I had chemicals out there in the field ready to plant."
Plants grow best when there is consistent rain spread out through the season. We had too much too quickly. But even though the ground is still saturated, hot, dry days can change that in a hurry.
Farm hand Lamar Crews says, "We think there's still plenty of moisture out there right now, but days like today when it's going to be close to 90 degrees it will be gone in a hurry."
County estimates say anywhere from 10-40% of current crops were damaged. But because it's early in the season, there is still hope.
"They try to get all their crops in in May, and with good luck we hope we'll be able to do that," says Crews.
Griswold remains confident. "We'll get there. I never give up... Never give up."
The feeling here for the owners and workers of these acres of farmland, going forward, is cautious optimism.