Melvin Daniels and his family have been farming tobacco on the same land in Claiborne County since the Revolutionary War. He survived the recession in 2008 and the business has faced tough times though the years, but Daniel's says he has never been in worse shape than he is now.
"We're very likely to lose our farms," Daniels said. "If you don't pay your bills. That's what happens."
Daniels alleges that herbicide spraying by the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative killed dozens of acres of his crops and has caused him to lose millions of dollars in profits.
RJ Reynolds, a large tobacco company that Daniels usually sells his product to, has said it will no longer buy any of the crop that has been touched by herbicides.
"Each bale of tobacco is worth about $1,230, $1,250 dollars," Daniels said as he stood in his barn. "We lost around 340 bales."
A new report by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture obtained by 10News states that US Applicators did not adequately prevent herbicides to drift while spraying underneath the power line's right of way.
"It appears that the applicators with US Applicators ... did not follow label precaution for Drift issues with the herbicide Arsenal," the report said.
The Department of Agriculture found the applicators at fault for two violations. The first "is for having five crews going with only one licensed applicator to supervise..." The second "is for violations for possible drift."
Daniels has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative and the contractor they hired, US Applicators. He said that amount matches the profits he stands to lose on his crop over the next couple years.
10News reached out to both the Powell Valley Electric Cooperative and US Applicators for a comment on the new report. Both companies chose not to comment because of the ongoing lawsuit, but said that they had not yet seen the Department of Agriculture report.
"It might not mean much to most people," Daniels said as he looked out over his land. "But our family has been here for generations."
There is no date yet set for when this lawsuit will go to state court.