Sparks urges disaster declaration

MONTGOMERY, AL. Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks is urging Governor Bob Riley and Alabama's Farm Service Agency Director Daniel Robinson to submit a disaster loss assessment declaration request to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as soon as possible.

"I have received numerous calls from farmers with concerns over crop loss due to the heavy rainfall in September and October," said Sparks.  "I want to personally ask the Governor and Mr. Robinson to make the request so that Farm Service Agency offices throughout Alabama can begin damage loss assessment reports, which will determine the number of counties that will be considered a disaster county."

In Mississippi, disaster assessment has already been opened in 79 counties and many of those are contiguous to Alabama.

Prior to September, many producers were expecting to harvest a "bumper" crop and were very optimistic for the upcoming harvest season.  The major crops impacted by the recent rainfall are cotton, soybeans, corn and peanuts.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Agriculture Commissioner's Office