Louisiana farmers keep eye on Tropical Storm Ida

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 2:33 PM

Gusty winds, high tides and heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Ida could affect southeast Louisiana's citrus and sugar cane crops.

Alan Vaughn, an extension agent for the Louisiana State University AgCenter, isn't expecting major damage to Plaquemines Parish oranges. However, he said winds of 50 mph or greater could break tree limbs and damage or shake loose navel oranges awaiting harvest.

The parish's citrus industry has about half the acreage it had before 2005's Hurricane Katrina.

Strong winds and heavy rains could have a piling-on effect on some farmers' sugar cane crops. Wet weather this fall has already caused considerable lodging _ a laying back of the cane that can make harvest more difficult and reduce the amount of sugar salvaged.