Disaster Assistance Program sign up begins Monday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Disaster Assistance Program sign up begins Monday

Lee County -- Farmers can begin signing up to receive emergency disaster assistance Monday.

 In October 2004 President Bush authorized three billion dollars in financial relief for farmers who had losses due to severe weather.

A number of South Georgia farmers will qualify for the money, because of Hurricane Losses. Hurricanes Francis, Charley, and Ivan all wreaked havoc on a number of crops in South Georgia. Lee County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Hank Hammond said "We had a number of farmers who said they had their best crops ever, until the hurricanes came in September, and that put a lot of them behind the eight ball."

One Lee County farmer reports losing 50 percent of his pecan harvest. Cotton quality and quantity was ruined by the fierce rain and winds. There is an 80-thousand dollar per person payment limit in this assistance package, but that will help many farmers as they prepare to plant this year's crop.

Hammond said "It does have a tremendous economic impact down here. A lot of farmers are waiting on funds to get their crop year started, so this will help."

Farmers can being applying for the crop disaster assistance Monday at their Farm Service Agency.

They recommend farmers call ahead for an appointment, and bring data from their crop insurance reports. There is no announced deadline to sign up for the assistance.

posted by jimw@walb.com

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