Iowa Public Television


Cotton, Rice Farmers See Impact of Katrina

posted on September 9, 2005

As just noted, the slowdown of river traffic for grain movement has impacted commodity prices in an ever-widening swath across the countryside. Elevator operators along the Ohio River in the eastern Corn Belt are offering about 16 cents less per bushel of corn than they were before the storm, or about $1.78. Land-locked corn buyers are offering closer to $2.00 a bushel.

Nearer to the center of the destruction, southern farmers are assessing losses to cotton and rice crops ... that is, when they can even get into the fields.


Cotton, Rice Farmers See Impact of Katrina

Crop damage caused by Hurricane Katrina across the Delta appears to be widespread, but spotty.

Observers say cotton fields where the bolls had just opened were hit the hardest. For some varieties of cotton in Louisiana, analysts said bolls were approaching 50 percent open when the storm hit.

USDA reports cotton crop conditions suffered the most in Mississippi, where the amount of crop rated poor to very poor went from 10 percent to 27 percent in one week's time.

USDA says the rice crop also was hit hard. Mississippi saw its rice crop go from 2 percent poor or very poor ... to 17 percent poor or very poor. Some farmers said it would take them at least a week to get back into fields.

As for prices, those farmers able to harvest a crop saw a healthy jump in market value for cotton this week, thanks in part to supply concerns in the wake of Katrina.


Tags: agriculture cotton disasters Hurricane Katrina hurricanes markets news rice storms trade weather