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October 18, 2018

Senator Jones Backs Request for Agricultural Disaster Declaration to Aid Alabama Farmers Impacted by Hurricane Michael


Birmingham, Ala. – U.S. Senator Doug Jones today wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to support a request by Governor Ivey to declare parts of southeast Alabama as agricultural disaster areas as a result of Hurricane Michael. By obtaining this declaration, farmers in the region whose crops were damaged or destroyed would be eligible to apply for additional support from USDA.

“Due to the hurricane, a preliminary damage assessment has estimated that cotton producers have suffered the most. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama farmers have lost a little over $100 million in cotton. For the cotton that has remained, it will be priced at less than market value due to the lower quality,” Senator Jones wrote. “Agriculture contributes greatly to the economy of Alabama, particularly in the Wiregrass region. I will continue to stand behind our farmers and help them during this challenging time.”

Alabama farmers can visit the USDA’s Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool to learn about additional recovery programs for which they may be eligible. Those in Barbour, Dale, Geneva, Henry, and Houston counties are already eligible for special assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Full text of Senator Jones’ letter is below and available here.

 

Dear Secretary Perdue:

I am writing to support Governor Kay Ivey’s request to declare the appropriate counties in Alabama as agricultural disaster areas following the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael.

Due to the hurricane, a preliminary damage assessment has estimated that cotton producers have suffered the most. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama farmers have lost a little over $100 million in cotton. For the cotton that has remained, it will be priced at less than market value due to the lower quality. Further, it is estimated that with infrastructure repairs and crop damage to all commodities, the overall cost will be approximately $200 million to the region.

Agriculture contributes greatly to the economy of Alabama, particularly in the Wiregrass region. I will continue to stand behind our farmers and help them during this challenging time. I appreciate all that you and your agency has done to address our concerns.

 

Sincerely,                                                           

Doug Jones
United States Senator

 

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