Arkansas farmers brace for Hurricane Ida impacts

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STUTTGART, Ark – Farmers in Central Arkansas are bracing for Hurricane Ida and the impacts it could bring to the Natural State. 

Over at Coker Farms, it was all hands-on deck Saturday as the team prepped for the storm. 

“Mother nature sometimes just throws us challenges,” said Jay Coker at Coker Farms Partnership. “It’s just part of what we know going in.”

Coker said his team is working around the clock to get as much crop harvested before the hurricane blast Louisiana and the remnants make its way to Central Arkansas. 

 “Is all of our drainage established? Do we have everything in place to be able to move the extra flood water,” said Coker.  “Is our equipment ready? Can we harvest as much as we can?”

Coker says even though he is far from the coast, crops left in the field are still at the mercy of rain, flooding and high winds. 

“Those three factors are bad for the harvest,” said Coker. 

Separately, they wouldn’t cause as much worry, but those at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says all together, it could cause more damage. 

“Anything over 20-25 miles per hour we look at issues with lodging crops and issues with standability,” said Matthew Davis at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. 

Some crops could be in danger of slumping over or shattered will come as a loss to farmers.  

“I would say we’d probably lose somewhere between 20 to 40 percent,” said Coker. 

Farmers across Arkansas are planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Some are clearing out trenches to soak up an additional water and others are harvesting what they can early before all that’s left to do is weather the storm. 

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