Billions of dollars are headed to disaster-hit communities over the U.S., including Georgia.
A just-passed disaster aid package will help farmers over state bounce back from awful weather in the course of the most recent few years.
Local farmers like the ones at Ottawa Farms say the disaster aid package could be an immense advantage. Ottawa Farms has been in Pete Waller’s family since the 1800s. As a third era farmer, he says natural disasters appear to occur here more much of the time.
“Our weather pattern has completely changed,” Waller said. “I can remember when we’d plant corn in March, and we’d only get a few April showers. Today, it’s either we have a drought or a flood.”
The $19.1 billion federal disaster aid package that went through the House this week should help Georgia farmers managing those issues, as well as blueberry farmers attempting to bounce back from freezes.
“Certainly, for farmers in the 1st District, particularly blueberry farmers, this is good news,” said Rep. Buddy Carter, R, Georgia. “We had devastating losses in 2017 and 2018 to the blueberry crop as a result of the late freezes that took place, and this will give those blueberry farmers relief.”
Waller says he’s appreciative to see the government support for farmers, yet doesn’t figure the funding will extend similar to some think.
“That sounds like a lot of money, but it’s not a lot of money with agriculture these days,” he said. “If you’re farming 1,000 acres, it takes $1 million to get in the ground to get started, but the farmers do need all the help they can get right now.”
In any case, he understands the terrible truth of what could occur without it.
“Farmers are going to fall by the wayside,” Waller said. “They need that money to be able to plant to continue going. These folks better understand, if we don’t farm, we don’t have food in this country.”
Since the House has endorsed it, it’s simply looking out for the president’s signature.
To the extent the drought goes, Waller says he’d like to get about an inch seven days to compensate for the warmth everybody have had up until now.
“We haven’t been able to cut hay for cattle,” he said. “We haven’t had enough water to make hay. We ought to be cutting hay now, and we’re just starting to get a little rain now to make some hay, so we’re going to be at least one hay cutting short if we start getting rain like we should.”