Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I was talking yesterday to a field rep in the Eastern Shore who said that he was out in the field, trying to calibrate a corn harvester that was operating in the midst of a rainstorm. This is a deep no-no and shows just how desperate they are down there to get something of the crop in and off the fields, even if the moisture rates are through the ceiling. I wonder what the chances are of rot, and at what percentages do they kick in? They've got hundreds of thousands of acres of spring crops down there - there's no way they're going to get even a fraction of that harvested before the hurricane hits. I just hope that no-one stays out too long & gets hurt in an accident. Farming is a dangerous enough profession without trying to harvest in the early stages of a hurricane.

Meanwhile, I've just talked to our in-house expert, and he says that the storm isn't going to be the monster we were fearing. Looks to hit the Outer Banks, and then go skidding up the Chesapeake with 100-mph winds. It's going to still be a hurricane when it hits the poor bastards in the Eastern Shore, but it isn't going to be the killer it might have been. 50-60 mph ground gusts, and 3-4 inches of rain. The corn crops will get damaged, but it hopefully won't be total. It's gonna delay the harvest something fierce, though. Takes a long time to dry out fields enough to do a proper clean harvest. Up here in the mountains, it's just going to be a wild storm.

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