Local News

Easley Seeks Disaster Relief for Farmers

Posted August 24, 2007

— Gov. Mike Easley on Friday asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare 85 North Carolina counties disaster areas because of drought-related crop losses.

Most counties statewide are experiencing losses of at least 30 percent of at least one significant crop, according to USDA loss-assessment reports.

Major losses have been reported on corn, cotton, hay, pasture, peanuts, soybeans and tobacco. Many farmers have already exhausted their winter hay supplies and are now looking for other sources of feed for cattle, Easley said in a statement.

“This drought is devastating our farms, which are a significant part of the North Carolina economy,” he said. “Our farmers need our help, and this disaster assistance may make a difference whether some of them can afford to stay in business.”

A disaster declaration would authorize the Farm Service Agency to make low-interest emergency loans to eligible producers. Farmers in counties bordering any county receiving a disaster declaration also would be eligible for disaster aid.

Easley's request covers the entire state except for 15 counties along the coast and in northeast North Carolina.

The hot, dry weather also prompted state officials to declare a Code Orange ozone alert for the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte areas on Friday. Sensitive groups like children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems were urged to limit outdoor activities because of the bad air quality.


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  • butterbean7258 Aug 25, 2007

    We don't need to keep farmers from going under.....

    Everybody knows food comes a grocery store and clothes come from a department store. : )

  • slobnoise Aug 24, 2007

    Any farmers who employee illegal immigrants are criminals. Why should they be giving anytype of relief

  • squid90 Aug 24, 2007

    Just have farmers sell their land to developers then there will be no need for disaster relief. Oh wait, that could pose a serious problem to our stomachs. ok lets only sell the corn and tobacco land. Oh wait...corn is suppose to be in our cars as ethanol and tobacco helps pay for medical treatments. shoot...lets just have the disaster relief pay for our toll roads then....dang again, the gov will take that money our for something special. lets just cut the budget and not pay for a lot of stuff we dont need.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 24, 2007

    To obscurite:

    Just where do you get your facts and figures from? The Great Depression bottomed out in March of 1933 and the Dust Bowl of the Midwest began with a drought that started in the summer of that same year. By the time of the first huge dust storms that ravaged portions of the Midwest started in November 1933, there were already signs of economic recovery. The continued drought though 1939 certainly caused some aggrivation to the economic recovery, but hardly affected but a small percentage of our country's population. Remember, even though some 5 million people were directly or indirectly affected by the Dust Bowl era, that was only about 3 percent of the population. And many of those who were displaced went to California and thrived as farmers in an area completely unaffected by drought. Urban migration also provided labor pools that did not exist before.

    Just because both things are associated with the "1930s" does not mean that they were related or causative.

  • Obscurite Aug 24, 2007

    "If it doesn't start raining next week - I'll eat me shorts"

    now, there's an image.

  • gopanthers Aug 24, 2007

    LOL - Don't worry people. Like some of you already heard me say - I have moved back home from California to Youngsville after a family Illness. Been back 3 day's now and I'm sticking to my guns. Its going to start raining again next week. Where ever I go - vacation - business or just some kind of visit out of state IT RAINS! That's just how my luck is. About 15 Years ago I went to visit my cousins on Maui for 2 weeks - that equals 14 days and out of the 14 days I was there it must of rained straight for 10 of them. LOL. - This is John's Prediction. If it doesn't start raining next week - I'll eat me shorts. LOL

  • Joshua Aug 24, 2007

    cont... with the price of national produce at State. You're going to see a big difference, not only in quality, but because Carrboro is a niche market. Peaches... 3.50 per quart at State. When I sold local peaches in Carrboro a few years ago, we sold for $4.75 per quart. Now THAT'S how small growers should be doing business. Niche or specialized products sold to niche or specialized markets.

  • Obscurite Aug 24, 2007

    "And as Steve Crisp stated earlier, "When we are in drought and lose our entire corn crop, the midwest is having a bumper year. And if they are in trouble, Alabama is doing just fine." This has always held true, and will always hold true."

    Really...I guess we'll just rewrite that section of American history in the thrities when half a million American's were left homeless and about two-thirds of American farmer's from the country's grainbelt had to rely on government aid to survive. It wasn't a particularly good time for farming and one of the contributing factors to the Great Depression.

  • Joshua Aug 24, 2007

    doodad, unfortunately, small business is priced by big business. If the commercial farmer next to you is charging $1.50 a bale, and you try to charge $2.00... unless you have a substantially better product, you aren't going to make any money. Same is true with livestock. Someone has 1500 head to sell, and sells it for $.75 per pound, when you get to market, if you have the same quality of livestock, guess what... you will also get $.75 per pound. The only way around this is to have a substantially better product and sell it on the local market or in a niche market such as local farmer's market, organic wholesaler, or specialized/local butcher. Even then, livestock is harder to get away from commercially set prices as there are so few outlets to process it. Produce, one the other hand, can be managed individually by the consumer. Tell ya what, go to the state farmer's market one weekend and head over to the Carrboro Farmer's Market. Check the price of local produce (Carrboro)

  • shine Aug 24, 2007

    doodad ....great post - 8 / 24 @4:23pm It is going to be a sour year for everything...........
    The corn went to drought..... but they still are going to have to run the combine through all of it - because (at least in Eastern NC planted the "roundup ready " varities and if they don't run the combine through it they will have a volunteer next year that they can't kill....... and that 2.60 diesel or whatever "off road" cost doesn't help. Then you have to look at the tobacco has no weight, the beans are not doing well and it is going to a "short" cotton crop --- plus the Piedmont area lost the produce....... yep - sour year.