N.C. to Import Hay for Farms
Originally published in the Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, North Carolina, December 13, 2007
by John Ramsey, The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.
December 13 – Help is on the way for North Carolina farmers who are running out of feed for their cattle and horses because of the drought.
The Council of State approved a plan presented last week by Gov. Mike Easley for up to $3.5 million to purchase and transport hay from other parts of the country. The hay will be sold at low cost to the farmers, allowing the state to recoup some of the money.
The lack of food has forced farmers across the region to sell their cattle off for the winter, said Tyrone Fisher, area livestock specialist with the N.C. Cooperative Extension.
"To a farmer, a cow is an employee. If a cow is not carrying a calf over the winter, the employee is not working for them," Fisher said. "In this scenario, if an animal is not going to produce a calf come spring, the farmers have taken them to the auction block or the slaughterhouse." Read more on MyCattle.com.
USDA to Help With Losses
Originally published by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, December 12, 2007
by J. Brian Ewing, The Eden Daily News, N.C.
December 12 – A new program looks to help livestock owners hurt by two years of drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering payouts to livestock farmers in Virginia and areas of North Carolina along the border to supplement some of their losses because of the drought.
The assistance is a testament to how bad the drought has gotten, according to Neil Burnette, executive director of the Department of Agriculture's Rockingham County office. He said it is uncommon for the department to offer these types of payouts to livestock farmers in this area.
"It's not a typical program that we do. It's something that came out of our disaster legislation," he said. "We don't typically have disaster allocations for grazing losses."
The Livestock Compensation Program began in September, but Burnette said few farmers are aware of it, and he hopes more will sign up. There is no ending date yet. Read more on MyCattle.com.
Tour Shows What Farmers Face in Flood Aftermath
Originally published by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News, December 13, 2007
by Christian Hill, The Olympian, Olympia, Wash.
December 13 – State officials and lawmakers toured flood-ravaged Lewis County on Wednesday to see the devastation to farms and families as the cleanup continues.
The Washington Farm Bureau organized the daylong tour to draw attention to its flood-relief fund and reiterate that the recovery for affected families will take many months.
Nearly $20,000 has poured into the fund, but "that's a drop in the bucket of what folks are going to need," said Dan Wood, the bureau's director of local government affairs.
The need was on display at the dairy farms in and around hard-hit Boistfort Valley in western Lewis County, where farmers lost dozens of cows, if not entire herds, to the floodwaters. Read more on MyCattle.com.