Heavy rain and flooding in the Carolinas and other parts of the Southeast are expected to result in significant losses to peanut, soybean and cotton crops — and the damage could extend to the region's tobacco and poultry operations, according to officials.
"We anticipate huge losses in peanuts and cotton, probably a lot of losses also going to be in soybeans," said Harry Ott, state executive director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's South Carolina Farm Service Agency. "We have sweet potatoes under water that need to be harvested right now (and) we are going to experience losses in them."
South Carolina has seen dam breaches due to the historic rains and flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin, and at least 14 people have been reported killed in that state alone. Authorities are still assessing the damage, a difficult process because many roads are washed out.
Flooding has resulted in cotton futures moving higher this week. On the ICE Futures Exchange on Thursday, cotton for December delivery is up about 2.7 percent since Monday.