Local News

Easley to Seek Federal Aid for Drought-Stricken Farmers

Posted August 22, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley said he plans to ask the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's Office for federal assistance for farmers whose crops and livestock are suffering from the state's drought.

The state Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Farm Service Agency are working on a statewide survey to determine which counties to include in the federal disaster request.

In Wayne County, drought conditions are so bad 50,000 bales of hay are needed. During the drought in 2002, 10,000 bales were needed statewide.

If the request is approved, low-interest emergency disaster loans will be available to farmers who cannot get credit elsewhere.

“Early indications are that more than 90 counties may meet the criteria for federal disaster assistance,” Easley said. “Our farmers need our help, and since we cannot make it rain, we will do everything we can to provide them some financial assistance.”

Local, state and federal officials at a Drought Management Advisory Council meeting Tuesday said the state needs 12 to 18 inches of rainfall to ease drought conditions, but no significant rainfall is expected in the near future.

Officials said many farmers have reported significant losses in corn and soybean crops, along with a lack of hay to feed cattle. State agriculture officials created a Web site to connect farmers with hay for sale with those who need hay to feed their livestock.


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  • nbforrest Aug 23, 2007

    The Arabs are nothing compared to american oil copanies.American businesmen are the sorriest sobs on earth!We sit back and let them take all the money! Oh, do not forget the mexicans that will work for crums and want to change our laws. They are to sorry to change their country, but want change mine!

  • Darren Aug 23, 2007

    I guess I should have made it clear that my oil example applies to food, too (and everything else). There are over 6 billion people in the world in a total of almost 200 countries. There could never be a situation in which all (or even most) of the food producers in the world would stop selling food to the richest country in the world (they'd go broke); and even if that somehow did happen, it doesn't take long (a few months maybe?) for farmers to get new operations kicked off here at home. Food production will never totally disappear from America, but even a drastic reduction in domestic food production is no reason to use force to benefit farmers.

  • somestuff Aug 22, 2007

    No Coercioin, please concider this:
    The one who controls the food controls everything. You can live without oil and international commerce. How long can you live without food? Commerce is not the point.If they refuse us food we deny them what??? If they have all the food we have nothing to bargan with. Food is where it all begins. There is nothing more basic.

  • somestuff Aug 22, 2007

    ok... I'm old, by the time it matters I'll be dead an buried. You guys worry about it.

  • Darren Aug 22, 2007

    Why should we want anyone to "in control" of our economy. The whole point of the free market is that no one is in control--that's what makes it so vibrant and productive. And we're not any more 'dependent' on buying oil from foreign countries than they are on selling it to us. It's called interdependence, and it's one of the beautiful things about globalization. It allows ever greater specialization, division of labor, and exploitation of comparative advantage. The more economic freedom there is (even if only on one side of the international equation), the more wealth is created overall.

  • somestuff Aug 22, 2007

    thanks no coercion, I'm not sure I understand where you're coming from but... If we didn't support family farms what would the result be? We import most of our energy needs i.e. oil. We are already dependent on imports in that respect. What happens when we become dependent on imported food? Would cheaper be better? and who would be in control of our economy/nation?

  • Darren Aug 22, 2007

    "I grew up working on a family farm and I know how much a season like this can hurt. It's devestating. I open my heart and my wallet to farming families in NC."

    Okay, fine. But what gives you the right to hold a gun to my head (via the government) and demand that I open my wallet, too?

    The elevate status of farms in this state is truly bizarre. Farming is just one sector of the economy. All sectors provide value and we'd be in sorry shape without any one of them (for the most part). We import plenty of food in this globalized economy, which is perfectly fine. There is NO justification for someone to use violence (government force) to compel their neighbors to bail out ANY industry, including farming. Why do farmers have the special 'right' in tough times to recoup their investments by forcibly taking money from their neighbors? Can anyone here answer this and still sleep at night?

  • somestuff Aug 22, 2007

    Many family farms have been bought out by corporate "farmers". I don't have much concern for the big guys. They are big enough and have their interests varied enough to bear the hard times. But the family farm is a different story. Family farmers work hard and take a huge risk. They are the One's who have fed us and built our country. They deserve our support.

  • somestuff Aug 22, 2007

    Yes, Easly's asking for more.. but this time I don't mind forking it out. I grew up working on a family farm and I know how much a season like this can hurt. It's devestating. I open my heart and my wallet to farming families in NC. Unfortunately my heart is much bigger than my wallet:) but I'll give all I can.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Aug 22, 2007

    " Everything dead...Johnston County..:"

    Uhhh... in most cases, it's feed/seed corn that's already matured.