Farmers have paid

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 16, 1999

enough for ’99 drought

Published Sept. 16, 1999

State officials are considering requesting 65 of 67 counties in the state of Alabama be declared federal disaster areas for the purposes of financial relief due to this summer’s drought.

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There can be no doubt that Pike County has been unmercilessly been pounded by scorching heat and little or no rain for most of the summer.

Bearing the worst Mother Nature has to offer have been our farmers.

In Pike County alone, 400,000 broiler chickens died this summer due to heat. At $1.50 each, that’s $600,000 lost to the county’s economy.

The numbers aren’t in on all agricultural products, but preliminary numbers indicate that the peanut harvest will be a fraction of what farmer’s anticipated due to lack of rain.

Cotton will likely fare the worst. Farmers have just begun harvesting the crop, which accounts for more acreage in Pike County this year than peanuts.

Tuesday, Gov. Siegelman was expected to give a press conference declaring that he planned to seek relief from federal agencies for crop damage suffered in Alabama.

According to Virginia Payne, executive director of the United States Department of Agrilculture Farm Service Agency for Pike and Bullock counties, every farmer in Pike County has been affected.

We hope the state seeks and gets the relief it so desperately needs. This summer has been long, hot and dry and has taken its toll on our farmers. They’ve paid enough.