In early May, violent weather wreaked havoc on some Florida farms and crops on the First Coast. The fierce cell of storms brought heavy rain, floods, hail and even an EF-0 tornado was produced.
The wild weather caused huge crop losses for farmers in Hastings, Elkton and throughout St. Johns County, Florida. While some farms suffered crop damages from flooding rains that saturated the ground, others lost crops due to damaging hail.
Some of the farm and crop damages that occurred during this storm include:
- Cucumbers and watermelon crops sustained damage from ten inches of rain. Hail damaged cabbage and cantaloupe crops at the Barnes family farm in Hastings.
- Potato crops at Blue Sky Farms and Middleton Farms sustained damage from too much rain saturating the ground. Even though farmers tried to air the crops out before pulling them out of the ground, serious crop damage occurred.
- St. Johns County Administrator Jerry Cameron said 30 to 40 farms in the county were affected. Extensive damage occurred to the south-central part of county, including damage to potato, corn and melon crops.
- A chicken farm in St. Johns County lost some of its livestock.
- Fallen trees damaged many farm structures across St. Johns County.
- Clay County didn’t have farmland damage; however, it did report residential property damage.
Officials indicate that this storm affected over 18,000 acres of crops, which could be in the millions of dollars in losses for farmers. Sadly, this recent storm hit farmers who have already been faced with other obstacles this year from high early year temperatures to spring freezes.