Delaware Encourages Farmers to Get Aid From Drought Losses
GEORGETOWN, Del.- Delaware is experiencing the worst drought on record since 1977. It is so bad that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared Kent and Sussex counties disaster areas. The state is urging farmers to apply for aid.
The hot, dry weather, and little rain has destroyed farmers crops. Cornfields are left with short stalks and empty cobs.
"Some have no kernels at all and so there's no point in harvesting," said farmer Mark Davis of Georgetown.
Davis has 800 acres of irrigated corn and 1,700 acres of dry land or non-irrigated corn. The non-irrigated got little water this summer, leaving corn cobs naked of kernels. Davis irrigates some of his corn, but it will not give him much of a profit.
"It's kind of just a tradeoff. You're running irrigation to pay your inputs on irrigated corn so there's not much profit taken on irrigated corn," Davis said.
With similar stories all across Delaware, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper is encouraging farms to get state aid during this disaster.
"The interest rates has been dropped from 3.5 percent to 2.25 percent. Obviously, if you're in the farming business you rather not borrow money at all, but if you do, borrowing it at 2.25 percent is better than 5 or 6 percent," Carper said.
Delaware farmers can apply for disaster loan assistance and crop insurance. But, for Davis the loss is huge, probably $700 an acre on his non-irrigated corn.
On a federal level, Carper is helping to push a farm bill in Washington. The bill provides farmers with better insurance programs and covers more costs. The bill passed the Senate in June, but not yet in the House.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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