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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Rain, mud dampen sugarcane harvest

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PORT ALLEN - Sugarcane farmers are dealing with soggy fields after another weekend of rain in the Baton Rouge area.

Sugarcane farmers in West Baton Rouge like Travis Medine say the year started off great, but now the sugarcane is wet and muddy. The rain knocks down the sugarcane and makes it harder to get down to the sweet sugar. Farmers spend more time in the fields and spend more money on fuel to make it through the thick mud. It also hurts at the mill trying to get the sugar.

"It makes it difficult at the mill because we're hauling extra leaves, we're hauling extra mud that we're normally with a drier type scenario wouldn't have, so it makes it harder on the recovery at the mill," said Medine. "Then too it's harder on us with our equipment to get the cane physically from the field to the mill."

Medine says he and other farmers will not brag about this year's crop, but he says nobody will cry about the bad weather either.

"Farming and weather go hand in hand, and Mother Nature makes this beautiful crop and at the same time she makes it a little bit difficult for us sometimes to get it out," said Medine. "You know we're farmers and we've learned, and I was brought up to deal with the weather. When Mother Nature throws you a curve ball you either swing and miss or you hit it out the park."

Farmers plan to harvest sugarcane through December. The LSU AgCenter expects the price of sugar to be about the same as last year at 24 cents per pound.

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