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Farmers Struggle After The Flood Of Last Spring, And Now The Coronavirus

Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 23:21:52-04

TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoman farmers are now beginning to see an impact on the crop market because of the coronavirus.

They tell us they're seeing a drop in sales while still trying to recover from last May's flooding.

2 Works for You spoke to a farmer who nearly lost 3,000 acres of grain and wheat last year and now has to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I don’t even really know what normal is anymore," Darren Perry said. "It’s just these last few years have been extremely challenging.”

Of Perry's 3,000 acres of crops, only seven were left after last May's flooding.

“It’s stressful but we will make it work,” Perry said.

He wasn't expecting anything like the coronavirus to hit farmers this year.

“The future markets are down," Perry said. "That’s what we have to go off of. That’s what we are seeing, grain markets across the board are slowing down.

Perry says farmers are also concerned about the potential for another May flood with mile to moderate damages this spring.

“It would be a double hit, but for us, we are more worried about the flood," Perry said. "The amount of rainfall we are getting is making it very challenging for farmers to get their fertilizers out, the herbicides out. So, the crops are kind of tough. They are taking beating from the rain and it’s putting everybody behind.”

He says although they have plenty to be concerned with now, he will continue to be optimistic.

“It is stressful but farming, you gotta be optimistic. Tomorrow is going to be a better day, and farmers across America will get up and try again. They don’t have quit in them,” Perry said.

Anthony Helsey agrees. He's been farming the last ten years. He says he likes to try and roll with the punches.

“We just have to march on. There is nothing else we can do. Just prices are what we have to deal with,” Helsey said.

His biggest concern isn't the virus or the possibility of another flood. It's years of declining crop pricing.

“I mean, if we could see prices back up to where they were 2010, 2012, it would be amazing for the farm,” Helsey said. “A lot of prices haven’t been hit tremendously yet because of the coronavirus, but we are not that far into it yet. So, we are just kind of having a wait and see deal right now.”

If you're a farmer seeking help, visit this link herefor more information.

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