Crop producers in the Carolinas are being urged to exercise safety practices when handling flooded crops.
A number of state and federal agencies are joining the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service in South Carolina to help farmers handle crops impacted by flood waters. In early October, Hurricane Joaquin contributed to historic rainfall totals throughout the Carolinas.Click here to see more...
“We have put together a fact sheet of common sense tips that will go far toward making sure that harvested crops are properly handled, and Clemson Extension is on the ground in affected areas to assist farmers and answer their questions,” said Julie Northcutt, professor and Cooperative Extension Food Safety and Nutrition Program team leader.
In some cases, floodwaters can contain contaminants that negatively impact the environment. Crops that come into contact with the water may not be suitable for harvest.
“The FDA doesn’t recognize any method of saving or reconditioning crops where the edible portion is exposed to floodwaters,” Northcutt continued. “Our farmers know this and are taking precautions to ensure that flooded crops are handled properly. This includes minimizing contact between flooded and non-flooded crops.”
Some crops may be recoverable if the edible portion does not develop until after floodwater exposure. Soil samples can be used to determine if certain crops are safe for eating.