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Crops escape damage

Farmers in nearby counties hit hard by storm

Local farmers said that it is a blessing that Hurricane Michael did not hit Covington County as hard as surrounding counties.

“I have talked with several people in Covington County and they say that we have had minimal damage,” Tommy Thompson said. “We are truly blessed that we only got some rain and a little bit of wind.”

Thompson said that the counties in southeast Alabama were not so lucky.

“They got slammed,” Thompson said. “They are facing what we faced when Opal came in 1995. We had nothing left back then when it came through, and now they have little left.”

Thompson hopes that farmers in that area of Alabama had already harvested some of their crops before the storm.

“They farm the same stuff that we do, cotton and peanuts,” Thompson said. “Their only hope is if they harvested some of it before the storm or if they have crop insurance, but even that only covers about 60 percent.”

The farms in Covington County were truly blessed, Thompson said.

Chuck Simon, director of the Covington County Extension Office, said that a lot of the peanut farmers had to make difficult decisions in the days leading up to the storm.

“Most of the people I talked to were still trying to make decisions on whether to dig or not to dig before the storm,” Simon said. “It all depended on how old the peanuts were, but thankfully we didn’t get too much damage.”

Simon said that hay farmers had already gotten their crops harvested before the storm.

“They [hay farmers] had already gotten theirs harvested,” Simon said. “With cotton farmers, I haven’t seen many bales around so they haven’t harvested, but we are OK in the county. We did not take too much heat from the storm.”

Eastern Geneva farmers were hit badly, Simon said.

“I haven’t heard anything about us getting hit,” Simon said. “I do know that Eastern Geneva was hit pretty hard.”