Hurricane Isaac Dumps a Foot of Rain on Louisiana Farms and It’s Still Raining

Sugarcane field. Photo credit: muller.lbl.gov via earthsky.or

For those of us who know and love the land and people of South Louisiana and Southern Mississippi, it has been hard watching what Hurricane Isaac is doing to the farms there from afar. At the same time, the ability to stay up-to-date with what’s really happening through social media rather than simply hearing from the major media who pick where they will be broadcasting from, means a different awareness of the reality farmers are facing.

One farmer in Southern Louisiana that I’ve recently met through Facebook is Brandon Gravois. Brandon and his family farm along the Mississippi River not far from New Orleans. The photos he has shared of their farm, the sugarcane still in the field and the amazing amounts of water tells you far more than I could or a weather report has communicated for me.

The family was harvesting everything they could this weekend and kept going until the storm hit their farm yesterday morning.  In case you don’t know what sugarcane should look like, I put a stock photo here for comparison. It seems all they can do is sit and wait now. Here’s the past 24 hours in a set of photos from Brandon:

The whole plantation looks the same -- Brandon Gravois, So. Louisiana 9 am 8-29

The whole plantation looks the same — Brandon Gravois, So. Louisiana 9 am 8-29

10 inches of rain she still coming down The might Mississippi river is flowing up river now Brandon Gravois South Louisiana

12.5 inches Still raining Water took over the main road on the back of the farm. With widespread rainfall like this the bayous and canals are full to the top there is no telling when this water will recede Brandon Gravois Louisiana

12.5 inches Still raining Water took over the main road on the back of the farm. With widespread rainfall like this the bayous and canals are full to the top there is no telling when this water will recede – Brandon Gravois Louisiana

Crop Damage Expected to be Major Impact of Isaac

As I finished this, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was asked what the storm is doing. He said right now, it looks like the biggest impact will be “crop damage.” with such significant amounts of rain with so many crops i the field. He’s estimating billions of dollars in damage that will be a major economic impact on the region.

Farmers like Brandon’s family have done everything they could to limit negative impacts. Here are some of the other farmers and others working to get crops in until the rain hits them. Its now raining in the part of Mississippi I used to live in so friends there are now joining Brandon in watching the rain and wondering how much will be left and what the impacts will be. A friend down-under sent me this link of some of the possibilities that come with crops that are flooded. I read through it and it makes me sick, can’t stand reading it anymore.

Luckily, one of the Gravois family members reports “down cane but no broken tops. It will start staightening out some (so to speak) after we get some sun. Cane is a very resilient crop.” I think farmers are pretty damn resilient too! Really appreciate they can withstand drought, hurricanes, floods and still find reasons for hope.

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(Added September 7) This video from This Week in Louisiana Agriculture gives a great followup to the sugarcane crop and shows the Gravois family’s reason for optimism.

 

 

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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7 Responses to Hurricane Isaac Dumps a Foot of Rain on Louisiana Farms and It’s Still Raining

  1. Robyn August 31, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Thanks for sharing this information, JP. It is good to know what real people are experiencing through their eyes vs. the eyes of the media.

    • Janice Person September 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

      I will be sure to let the farmers who did the real work know!

  2. Lesley August 31, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Thanks for sharing JP!

    • Janice Person September 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

      You are welcome! The farmers deserve the credit though!

  3. Val Plagge September 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Pictures really do say a 1000 words! Thanks for sharing Janice!

    • Janice Person September 3, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

      It is easy not to feel like sharing this stuff but I am so impressed with the ones who did. It is important to show folks the impact… I sure learned a lot!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Year-End Review -- Top 12 Posts of 2012 Plus Some - September 29, 2013

    […] Hurricane Isaac Dumps a Foot of Rain on Louisiana Farms and It’s Still Raining – Watching what was happening as Louisiana and Mississippi farmers braced for Hurricane Isaac was one thing, but as it dropped a foot of rain and I saw photos, I had to share. It’s amazing what Mother Nature throws at farmers as they go about growing the food that sustains us. […]

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