The requested resource (/media/wual/header/pb/header.html) is not available
Last updated 12:43PM ET
March 6, 2021
Alabama Lawmaker Request Crop Help
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - U-S Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says he will expedite Alabama's request for a crop disaster declaration in up to 41 counties after last month's late freeze and an ongoing drought have wiped out much of the state's peach, wheat, corn and other crops.

Governor Bob Riley formally requested the disaster aid in a letter dated Wednesday. After meeting with several members of Alabama's Congressional delegation yesterday afternoon, Johanns said he hoped to make a decision within one week. The declaration would allow farmers to get low-interest loans to replant.

Johanns also said he would consider allowing livestock grazing and letting farmers cut hay on land that the government pays farmers to set aside for conservation.

State agriculture officials say Alabama farmers sustained at least 75 (m) million dollars in losses over Easter weekend as temperatures across the Southeast plunged below freezing. Particularly hard-hit were peaches and wheat that were soon to be harvested and in which farmers had heavy investments.

At the same time, a prolonged drought has stunted growth across the state, particularly in the north.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
© Copyright 2021, APR - Alabama Public Radio