Farmers struggle but are thankful after Hurricane Florence

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— Hurricane Florence caused an estimated $2.4 billion in damages to the state’s agriculture business.

Corn, tobacco and soybeans took the biggest hits. Kent Revels, in Fuquay-Varina, grows soybeans and tobacco.

“If a farmer, if he’s really got it in his blood and it’s really what he wants to do, he does not give up easy,” Revels said.

He said any farmer with a salvageable soybean crop would have been in the fields on Thanksgiving.

Revels lost more than $500,000 in his tobacco crop after Florence hit North Carolina.

As the sun shone on his soybeans, he realized it’s something to be thankful for.

The reality is it’ll be just drop in the bucket.

“Soybeans, no, they won’t even come close,” Revels said. “I mean, it’ll help. It’ll help pay some bills, but it won’t come close to what we lost in the storm.”

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Florence far exceeded damages experienced in 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, which was about $400 million.

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While farmers are still reeling from the ravaging storm, they’re working hard, and they’re thankful.

“You know how many times I’ve sat in that combine and watched the sun go down?” Revels said. “How many times I’ve been in the tractor and watched the sun come up, working?”

“How quiet and peaceful,” he continued. “Those are things you can’t buy.”