First-term Rep. John Rose, declaring it was “absolutely, without a doubt, wrong” to pass a $19.1-billion disaster relief bill without a roll call vote, blocked House action on Thursday on the legislation, which includes $3 billion for agricultural aid.
Senate Democrats proposed a $16.7 billion disaster relief bill on Tuesday, hoping to break a deadlock over aid to Puerto Rico with a package that provides more money for hurricane and flood recovery on the mainland. During a House hearing, Farm Credit System leaders called for assistance to …
Spring flooding in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt will have a marginal impact on corn and soybean plantings, according to a USDA survey of growers and initial tallies of flooded land. With normal weather and yields, there would be limited impact on production of the two most widely grown U.S. crops, thanks to the huge amount of cropland nationwide.
Texas is easily the largest cattle state in the country, with 12.3 million head, or nearly one of every seven head in the U.S. inventory of 93.6 million cattle. The 54 Texas counties declared a disaster area due to damage by Hurricane Harvey hold 1.2 million beef cows, the animals that are the foundation of the cattle industry, says livestock economist David Anderson of Texas A&M.
Floods spawned by Hurricane Matthew killed "at least tens of thousands of chickens, hogs and other livestock" in eastern North Carolina, said the Washington Post. Some environmentalists said the losses could reach the millions because of the large livestock production in the flooded area; North Carolina is one of the largest hog and broiler-chicken producers in the nation.
An environmental group, Waterkeeper Alliance, says floods from Hurricane Matthew swamped 98 barns on 27 poultry farms and 15 manure lagoons on nine hog farms in North Carolina based on reconnaissance flights over storm-hit territory. State environmental officials say their aerial observations determined one hog farm had two partial breaches, the most serious type of damage for release of animal waste from a manure lagoon.
Inspectors found flooding of some manure lagoons in eastern North Carolina, but their aerial inspection "did not show any confirmed breaches or overtopping," says the state Department of Environmental Quality. Environmental groups say the floods, a result of Hurricane Matthew, are a severe test of whether large-scale livestock farms, producing millions of hogs and broiler chickens a year, can keep animal waste from mixing with storm water.
A preliminary estimate by Louisiana State University's AgCenter says the historic flooding will cost the state's ag sector $110 million in lost and reduced-quality crops, increased production costs, and infrastructure damage, The Advertiser reports.
With the floodwaters still rising in some parts of Louisiana, a lot of farmers with crops still in the field, as well as some with harvested crops in storage, are facing a total loss, says AgriPulse.
Growers in southwestern Louisiana lost around $14 million in rice, based on the current farm-gate price, in the flooding that followed torrential rains over the weekend, estimated Dustin Harrell, a Louisiana State University rice specialist. In calculating the "highly speculative" figure, Harrell relied on suggestions that 17,200 acres of rice, or 4 percent of fields, would be lost.