Pecan Farmers Count Losses from Tropical Storm Frances

It's a sad sight for pecan farmers; hundreds of pecan trees blown over and uprooted and their fortune simply scattered on the ground.

Ashley Paulk, a pecan farmer, says, "Our farm alone will be half a million dollar loss with no insurance. That's just part of farming."

Pecan farmers here say Hurricane Frances dumped so much water and over saturated its soil and had winds so harsh that trees were toppling left and right. Efforts are underway to try and stabilize the younger pecan trees in hopes they will re-establish their root system and produce a profitable crop.

Farmers say Hurricane Frances struck the crop at its most fragile stage.

Ed Wood, a pecan farmer, says, "If it would have come just a few weeks later it would have just blown our nuts on the ground and we would have still been able to harvest them. Now it's just a total loss."

Right now farmers predict the storm claimed more than 40 percent of south Georgia's pecan crop.

As for talk of Hurricane Ivan, Paulk says, "Don't even mention it. I mean, as wet as the ground is now you can hardly drive in the groves, not to mention it would probably wipe out the rest of it."

Farmers say they would be lucky to harvest even half as many pecans as last year. The Georgia commissioner of agriculture is currently looking into providing state assistance to farmers affected by Frances.