Polk County Crop Losses
Weeks of cloudy weather with only a glimpse of the sun has crippled crops in Polk County.
One grower has lost 70% of his apples. Apples are stripped from the tree and are dead on the ground. Farmers say that's what happens when a rainy day turns into rainy months. Some apples never reach maturity because of a lack of sunshine. Those that survive are hit by fungus attacks that cause brown spots and eventually rot on the tree. Apple trees tend to shed those apples, and that's why so many of them surround the tree trunk on the ground. Many of are worthless because they cant even be sold for juice.
But there is some good news for farmers. Polk County is one of the counties included in the Federal Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loans Program. Farmers can qualify for low-interest loans to prepare for next years crop. They have until next April to apply for those loans.
By Sherrill Barber