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Hartselle Enquirer

Farmers ask for drought help

By Staff
The splattering of recent rains aren't doing much to solve drought conditions for Alabama farmers. Alabama agricultural organizations are calling on state and national officials to speed relief to the state's farmers who have been hit hard by the worst drought in 100 years.
Representatives from the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alabama Cattlemen's Association, Alabama Poultry and Egg Association and Alabama Forestry Association are joining together to ask for drought assistance.
The farmers said they appreciate Alabama's congressional delegation, Agriculture Commissioner Rot Sparks and Gov. Bob Riley for requesting drought assistance.
However, the farmers fear their immediate needs may not be met unless Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture act quickly to fund disaster programs.
Among the types of assistance farmers need most are: disaster funding for crop losses, the release of discretionary funding by USDA to fund emergency conservation programs to dig wells and replant pastures, cost-share assistance to replant pine seedlings killed by the drought, money to offset transportation costs associated with buying hay from out of state and long-term assistance in the form of a 2007 Farm Bill that funds irrigation initiatives, a permanent disaster program and more affordable crop insurance.

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