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Hanna's rains a double-edged sword for local farmer/rancher

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Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 01:17:32-04

Farmers and ranchers breathed a sign of relief after Hurricane Hanna's storm surges brutalized other areas of the Coastal Bend.

Fortunately, several local farmers tell KRIS 6 News, they took a hit, but didn’t see devastating damages to their crops.

Late July and early August is when farmers such as Ray Patrick begin to harvest their cotton crops. Patrick, whose farm is near Bishop, he was worried about the cotton crops -- like most farmers -- when he heard a big storm was heading to the Coastal Bend.

“When you get a lot of rain, it affects your grades and damages your yields to some degree,” he said.

Fortunately for Patrick and other farmers, the damage wasn’t too significant.

“There’s some loss from weather like this,” he said. “But since we didn’t have too much wind, I think the loss is kind of minimal.”

Patrick said the loss may be little, but for ranchers, the gains from the rains was actually a good sign.

“Rain makes our grass grow,” he said. “Even though it does some damage to our crops, it’s positive and gets forage for our cattle.”

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service's Jason Ott said there’s still plenty of cotton that needs to be picked this season. In fact, there are about 300,000 acres of crops in Nueces County that got rained on during Hurricane Hanna, but that damages were nowhere near as significant as Category 3 Hurricane Harvey.

Ott also said weather like this weekend can impact the quality of the crop, such as discoloring it, but that what it really needs now is just a little bit of South Texas heat.

“What we need now is some sunlight, like we’re getting right now, to dry this crop out so we can minimize the impacts of the damage that was done,” he said.