Glades farmers recovering after days of rainfall at levels ‘expected from a hurricane’

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Farmers were dealing with dry conditions, but this is more rain than anyone asked for.

Glades farmers are working to return to normal operations after being hit with days of rainfall akin to a hurricane.

That’s according to the Florida Sugarcane Farmers, a group which aims to support and promote those farmers.

The area had been dealing with dry conditions prior to the deluge. But while some rain would have helped alleviate the dry spell in the Glades, the amount of rain seen late last week is causing headaches for farmers.

The intense rainfall across the southern part of the state prompted Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in more southern counties due in part to flash flooding.

The downpour also caused significant standing water on those farms, per a Friday report from Florida Sugarcane Farmers, with many farms facing repairs due to the damage of the rushing water during the storms.

The group predicted several days of halted operations due to the rainfall. The totals were “similar to or in excess of what would be expected from a hurricane,” the group said. They quote a report from the South Florida Water Management District, saying the one-week time frame covering last week’s storms could be the “wettest seven days in June” in three decades.

“Wednesday’s rainfall was anywhere between 5 to 9.27 inches, depending on the farm, and Thursday added another 1-3 inches,” the Florida Sugarcane Farmers said. “Over the last three days, some Glades farms have received more than a foot (nearly 15 inches) of rainfall. The 7-day average ranges from 6 to 9 inches across the farming region with 10.22 to 14.8 inches in places.”

That’s a problem, as drainage infrastructure is only used to accommodating 3/4 of an inch of drainage per day.

The group expressed optimism that farmers would be able to resume operations soon, crediting technological advancements and resilience of the workforce. But they acknowledged the likelihood of some temporary slowdown.

“Sugar manufacturing facilities are undergoing annual post-harvest season repairs, and this week’s rainfall may cause some delays,” the group said. “Bagasse fields, which provide renewable power to area refineries and other related facilities during the summer non-harvest months, may experience higher moisture levels. This requires additional steps to dry before moving into the boilers.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


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