U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), today joined the entire Alabama delegation in contacting U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to highlight the severity of Alabama’s drought conditions and request emergency assistance for the entire state through the release of “Section 32” funds for disaster assistance.
This request follows two previous requests by Senator Shelby for a disaster declaration for the state from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Preliminary production shows that due to the drought conditions, Alabama’s agriculture community has lost approximately 75 percent of the corn crop, 30 percent to 50 percent of the cotton crop, and 50 percent of the peanut crop. Additionally, Alabama’s forestry sector is reporting a 60 to 90 percent loss in pine seedlings, at a cost of $30 million to the industry.
“North and central Alabama are experiencing the worst drought in over a hundred years,” said Shelby. “My office has heard from farmers and cattlemen across our state who are facing serious economic struggles as these drought conditions continue. The need for emergency aid is dire and the need for assistance is real.”