Farmers rebound one year after massive May floods

(WMC-TV) - What a difference a year makes for flooded out farmers who practically lost their crop during the floods in May of last year.

Action News 5 spoke with Cliff Sweat during the height of last year's high water.

Sweat says he is thankful for the drier year and hopes he never has to see water like many of us did last May.

It is another dry and windy morning on Sweat's 1,100 acres of farmland.

"If we were here in this shop a year ago, we'd be under eight feet of water," says Sweat.

Sweat says it has been a dry and windy spring in Lauderdale County.

Just over one year ago, Sweat hurried to move his entire farm operation to the bluff and away from rising flood water from the Mississippi.

"We moved everything out from the shed, as far as what we had to move out and everything else we put five feet off the ground which still wasn't sufficient because the water got up to eight feet," he said.

Ironically, as Sweat drives around checking on his crops, he says we could actually use a little rain.

He was a month late getting his crops out last year because of high waters.

But despite those floods, he had a bumper crop of cotton, corn, and soybeans.

This year, he got all of his crops out a month early and is hoping for another record year.

"We hope for a good crop every year but I'm a dry land farmer and my rainfall is coming from the Lord instead of an irrigation system," he adds.

He says rainfall this week could force him to replant some of his crops already coming up in low lying areas.

"I'm worrying less this year than last year. Farmers always have a tendency to worry about their crop. Sometimes its good to take a week's vacation and come back because your crops always look better," continued Sweat.

Sweat farms in the western part of Lauderdale county.

He says farmers are back to business there but about half of the residents who used to live there moved away for good.

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