(NASHVILLE, TN) – State Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin) said today he is very pleased with Governor Jim Halsam’s announcement that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared 34 additional Tennessee counties a natural disaster for agriculture as a result of drought and excessive heat during last year’s growing season.. The additional counties include Robertson and Sumner Counties. The declaration means farmers will be able to access assistance.
“Robertson & Sumner Counties obtain a large portion of their local revenue from agriculture and our farmers have felt a direct impact from the recent droughts,” said Senator Haile. “As a cattle farmer, I know how much agriculture is important to the local economy in Sumner & Robertson counties. I want to personally thank Governor Haslam for making this request on behalf of all our farmers that have suffered from the drought.”
Farmers in affected counties report crop losses generally ranging from 30 to 50 percent, and higher in some cases, for corn, soybeans, cotton, hay and specialty crops. Livestock producers also reported feeding winter stocks of hay earlier than normal last year.
Senator Haile recently filed legislation that would keep farmers safe from civil liability under certain circumstances. Haile says protecting local farmers is one of the best things that we can do as a state to safeguard our economy.
“Tennessee is an agriculture state,” added Haile. “It is critical to our economy. I am very pleased that we will have help help available for our farmers.”
For the latest information on last years crop harvest, visit the USDA-NASS Tennessee Field Office website at www.nass.usda.gov/tn . A complete list of counties can be found at http://www.fema.gov/dhsusda/searchState.do
Senator Ferrell Haile is a pharmacist and farmer from Gallatin and currently serves as interim Senator for the 18th district.