Jackson County farmers deal with extreme weather once again

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Farmers in Jackson County are dealing with the destruction of their crops brought on by extreme weather for the third year in a row.

2018 brought Hurricane Michael, 2019 brought drought and now 2020 has brought them major flooding.

Trenton Childs, the owner of Spanish Trail Farms in Grand Ridge, said they’ve lost at least $75,000 because of Hurricane Sally flooding their fields.

“It’s finished its got disease in it causing spores on them, this is zucchini squash, there’s nothing you can really do to save it,” Childs said.

Childs said they had busses stuck out in the fields and had to bring in bulldozers to get them out. He calls this year’s harvest “just another disaster.”

Spanish Trail Farms had to get creative this year trying to make up for lost revenue according to Childs.

“We started a pumpkin patch this fall,” Childs said. “We bought a couple semi-loads of pumpkins at a discount and we’re doing that trying to recover some lost revenue.”

Childs is not the only farmer who is in recovery mode as well.

Bud Baggett, the owner of Baggett Farms, said he’s lost 30-40 percent of his gross revenue this year because of Hurricane Sally.

“We can’t, can’t quite catch a break,” Baggett said. “Everywhere we turn we keep hoping and praying that something is going to get better. We just pray to the good Lord that things will turn around and go our way once but the way it’s going, it doesn’t look to be in our favor.”

Baggett also said the farm’s profit margins are razor-thin right now because of increased equipment costs and lower crop prices.

“Right now, we’re in maintenance mode just basically trying to survive,” Baggett said.

Baggett said there is no room for error during this year’s harvest.

“We’re burning the midnight oil trying to get it all while we can you know just trying to make up for lost time,” Baggett said.

Childs and Baggett are still trying to make the most of this harvest by replanting some of their crops and are anxiously awaiting the end of Hurricane season.

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