Marianna- The estimates came in, and they didn't look pretty. As much as 90% yield losses to the hay crop and 30-50 % losses to row crops. Growers like Jeffery Pittman of Jeffery and Ginger Pittman Farms said they were feeling the hit- and frustration.
"Because of the lack of a farm bill being initiated by congress, this is exactly where we were fearing with this type of weather scenario" he said.
Sally Phillips, Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency said many counties in the area had been declared a state of emergency.
But, after digging around a but, we learned, without a Farm Bill, that really didn't mean much to farmers.
Two months ago, it looked as though a Farm Bill was going to pass. But, a last minute amendment proposed by Congressman Steve Southerland was touted by many as the reason the bill failed to pass.
Had the Farm Bill been in place, emergency supplemental programs could have kicked in. However, in lieu of it's absence, Phillips told us a grower's best avenue was to take out a loan.
"An emergency operating loan, like, if he needs money to get his farm going for next year," she explained. "He would apply and it would help him cut some of his losses as far as having available cash. Well, it really wouldn't cut his losses, but he would have a low interest loan."
Pittman said, "It's a very serious issue for the producer in terms of cash flow. But this Farm Bill is not only a bill for the producer, it's a bill for the consumer. It secures an abundant safe food supply for the consumers of this country. It's very serious business and it needs to be addressed in that fashion."
Pittman did not have an percent estimate on how much the crop losses would effect consumers, but said it would definitely make a dent.