After a hurricane or flood, the farm should be returned to production as soon as possible.
- Remove zinc sheets, lumber, nails, etc. that can cause damage to animals
- Clean-up debris of damaged plants
- Salvage valuable trees or plants
- Dispose of dead animals immediately, by composting, burial or burning.
- Clean and repair cages, pens, houses as soon as possible and return animals.
- Disease in animals may be increased after a flood.
- Check for signs of pneumonia
- Check animals for distress/illness and consult a veterinarian where necessary
- Keep vaccinations up-to-date
- Provide clean and uncontaminated water and feed
- Clear pasture land
- Where necessary, spray for mosquitoes and other insect pests
- Inspect chemical stores, clean-up any chemical spillage to avoid poisoning and restrict contamination of water sources.
- Effect repairs to store houses and other structures if necessary.
- Unclog drains, sink holes and canals to free up the passage of water.
- Repair drain and canal infrastructure, electrical power lines and (using a competent electrician), pumping stations if necessary.
- As soon as practicable, address weed control (farms tend to get overrun by weeds following a hurricane).
- Do not re-fertilize fields, hurricanes are likely to occur during the second half of the year when added fertilizer will tend to result in poor juice quality and low cane price.
- Recently planted nurseries of fall plants not scheduled for harvesting in the next crop may be given a supplementary fertilizer dressing to replace nutrients washed away during the storm.
- Inspect recently planted fields for the possible need for supplying (or even replanting) depending on the level of scouting.
Fruit Tree Crops
- Make a visual assessment of the damage to estimate the cost of resetting the trees or re-establishing the orchard.
- Be alert and look for fallen or broken high powered electrical wires which may still be alive and dangerous.
- In cutting plants, make sharp, clean cuts at a forty-five angle to prevent water settling on the cut surface. Use tools such as pruning saw, rolcut/secateurs or chain saw
Trees that were uprooted
- Cut-back secondary branches towards the main stem at an acceptable inner node or branch collar
- Prop-up trees and cover roots with top soil where possible avoid damage to the base of the trunk
Mulch if Possible
- To be effective, mulch should be at least 3 inches thick and have a 3 feet radius around the plant
- Do not pile mulch against trunks, as this may cause attack by fungi and borers.
Trees That Were Partially Toppled
- N.B. As trees continue to develop and recover additional pruning will be essential for proper management of new growth
Trees with Trunks Broken at Soil Level
Trees with Split or Twisted Trunk
- Cut below the split or twist at a node or branch collar and at a forty-five degree angle
- Treat remaining trunk and drench roots with systemic fungicide
- Remove all cut material from the site
Trees with Broken Branches
- Cut back broken branches to next inner node, fork or branch collar
- Paint branches exposed to sunlight for the first time, with white lime to prevent sunburn. Dilute white lime with water in a 1:4 ratio. Dissolve material to be sprayed 1:1 with water and strain.
- Dilute after with an equal volume of water
Fertilize tree with a complete fertilizer, 2-3 months after the hurricane.
If possible, place the fertilizer in a 1-2 m (3-6 ft.) circular area around the trunk of damaged trees as this is the area where the new fibrous roots will emerge.
The information for this edition of the RADA Diaries was produced by the Division of Technology Training and Technical information of RADA.