Recent rains a major problem for cotton farmers

I don't know what you've heard, but farming isn't easy.

"It's been a struggle, especially with changes in the weather," says third generation farmer Richard Beyer.

For Beyer, it's been a harder struggle than usual. The cotton crop is awful this year. The steady rains along the coast have made the fields too waterlogged for the cotton picking machines to harvest, so the crop is literally rotting in the fields.

"I feel there's some value left, but if we continue to see the rains, most likely we'll get to the point where it's not even worth harvesting," he says.

If you fly overhead, you can see the sun glint off the water between the rows. The Agriculture Extension Office says half the Matagorda County cotton crop is a loss. That's almost $13 million, twice the loss from Harvey.

"When this guy gets hurt it doesn't stop there," says Bob Reed with the Farm Bureau.

The cotton crop loss will effect everyone here, says Reed. It's money not going into the local economy.

"It goes to the local restaurant. It goes to the movie theater. It goes to the clothing store. It goes to the auto dealership," Reed says.

It's not just money from the farmers, but from all the employees, too. To give you some perspective, it's about $340 for every man, woman and child in the county. Beyer says in the next few weeks he and his family will have to make some tough financial decisions.

"I won't lie and say I sleep 100 percent through the night," Beyer says. "There are days when I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind is going."

But farmers are eternal optimists, used to the boom and bust cycles brought on by the weather. They could  use a boom next year. They've just had enough busts here for a while.