Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Winter weather causing sugarcane woes in South Louisiana

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ST. JAMES PARISH - It's harvest time in area sugar cane fields, but farmers hit a hurdle this past Friday in the form of snow.

Huge combines are pulling up the crops and haulers are shipping them to market. But the cane's bent over after being hit with several inches of snow.

Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain is a bit worried due to the crop damage caused by the snow.

"They've been cutting very good cane that has had a high tonnage and a high sugar content. But with the snow, it pushed it to the ground, " Strain said.

The cane is making a rebound, but Strain says it still depends on what the weather does.

"Hoping we're going to see some warm weather. Maybe get up into the 50's and if we do that, we'll see the cane recover."

And with the sugar cane fields slumped over like this, it's going to take farmers longer and cost them more to harvest in the wet land.

"For some of these farmers, if they have to be in the field long and move slower, it could cost them many thousands of dollars more fuel and time. It's all about efficiency of harvest."


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