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Weekend storms hit local farmers hard

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Updated: 5/08/2013 6:32 pm

HASTINGS, Fla. -- Soggy dead crops for as far as the eye can see. Farmers put a big pricetag on the weekend storms.

Century-old bars are left piles of twisted wood. But where the weekend storms really hurt local farmers was in the ground.

Wednesday, they were trying to salvage anything they could. But it's not looking good.

"You're looking for blooms, you're hoping the big leaves will come back to protect the fruit that's there," said Jim Barnes with Barnes Farms.

The constant rains washed the dirt off the potatoes, corn and cantaloupe, allowing the hot sun to bake them in the ground. Most have rotted. Barnes says that first glimpse at the damage was heartbreaking.

"Everything was flipped over beat up all the leaves were down, gone. They're in bad shape," Barnes said.

The St. Johns County farm report says in total, nearly 1,400 acres of crops were destroyed. Commissioners are calling it devastating. So are the farmers.

"I just hope everyone in the area survives because it's getting tougher and tougher to farm," he said.

But it isn't just these farmers who are suffering from the loss. Action News has learned this will mean higher costs for locally-grown produce for everyone.

County Commissioners tell Action News they plan to look into any state or federal funding available to help the farmers out.

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