Heavy Rains Take Toll on Harvest

September 25, 2006 - Posted at 7:49 p.m. CDT

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR - The weekends heavy rains will take a toll on this year's harvest.

"Early in the spring before you've got all your inputs in, it would have been a lot easier to take then right now.  We've got everything in it right now," said farmer Steve Wren.

For farmers in Randolph County, it's like watching money go down the drain.

"It could put some of them out of business pretty easy.  Fortunately we've got half the rice out and all the corn and milo out, but the beans and the other half of the rice, it could still be very detrimental," said Mike Andrews, Randolph County Extension Agent.

Early estimates show as much as 50% of the crops that are still in the ground ruined after a combination of hail, high winds and heavy rains. The water from the weekend storms blew with such force and magnitude it was able go over roadways and bend street signs...the same force that was able to devastate the cash crop in Randolph County.

"To think that we've got a $60 million dollar agriculture economy.  You know you are looking at probably 20% of that economy here in the county," said Andrews.

That's $12 million dollars that residents in Randolph County were just days away from collecting.

"It's going to affect everybody in Randolph County that has a business to a certain degree because there is a lot of money they have lost," said Wren.

Farmers also lost cattle, fences and other structures that suffered water damage.