Wiregrass farmers were expecting a bountiful harvest this year with their peanut and cotton crops. Now, instead of harvesting their cotton crops and a portion of their peanut crops, farmers are taking photos and documenting damage caused by Hurricane Michael damage with hope of receive disaster funding from the government.
“Farmers in the Wiregrass area are truly hurting,” said Henry County Extension Agent Jimmy Jones. “Our farming neighbors in Florida and Georgia are even in worse shape. Our farmers are in need of help and hopefully Congress will provide the funding.”
Since Hurricane Michael, local extension offices have been working nonstop in accessing the agricultural damages.
“We are continuing our assessment portion of the disaster,” Jones said. “However, we need all farmers who received any farm loss to submit photos and documentation to their local extension office. This information is very crucial in hopes of farmers receiving any disaster assistance.”
All documentation received by local Extension offices will be forwarded to the state office, and then to the United States Department of Agricultural (USDA). The USDA will then take the information before Congress requesting funding for farmers. If approved, a bill will go before President Donald Trump to be signed into law.
“The exact amount of loss is still undetermined,” Jones said. “We are looking at figures in the millions and this is a horrible hit for our farmers. Now is the time for farmers to submit all farm losses. Information submitted should include the farmer’s name and location. Pictures should include crop damage, fence damages — any damage associated to a farm loss because of Hurricane Michael. Remember, this does not include residential damages. This is farm damage only.”
Jones reminds farmers seeking disaster assistance that it can be a lengthy process.
“We have received great support from our representatives on both the state and federal level,” Jones said. “Now it’s up to Congress. If approved, then it is up to the Congress and President Trump to work together for funding to help our farmers.”
For additional information on submitted farm damage, contact your local Extension Office.