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As Hurricane Florence is expected to drop as much as 30 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas, farmers are rushing to get their crops out of the ground and into storage.
South Carolina state lawmaker and farmer Russell Ott has extra hands out on his 2,500-acre farm trying to get as much of his corn harvested as quickly as possible. He lives about an hour inland from Charleston and has been running two combines around the clock to try to save as much of his business as he can.
“We invest all of our money into that crop and so that’s why it’s a very anxious and stressful time of year to see all of your work sitting out there as vulnerable as it’s going to be,” Ott said.
While he expects to get a large portion of his corn harvested in time, he’s concerned about his cotton crop which is still in the ground and completely vulnerable. Restrictions on transporting livestock and crops have been lifted in both North and South Carolina to help farmers prepare for the storm.
This rush to harvest is becoming routine for farmers in the Carolinas. It’s the fourth consecutive year Ott said he’s had to do this hurricane preparation. In October 2015, large-scale flooding across most of the state cost farmers many of their crops. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture estimated farmers lost more than $300 million in crops.