Bedford County Seeks Disaster Relief for Farmers - - ABC13

Bedford County Seeks Disaster Relief for Farmers


Reporter: Lauren Compton l Videographer: Ira Quillen

Bedford Co., VA- This summer's weather is hitting farmers hard. There's been record-breaking heat, the derecho  and extremely dry conditions. In Bedford County, supervisors are now calling on the governor to try to help these farmers. This could bring farmers some much needed support.

"It's been very difficult on the cattle. We're running fans 24 hours a day, and sprinklers systems are going on the cattle as well," said Wayne Turner of Turner Farms.

Then the derecho damaged crops and knocked down corn stalks. To top it all off, rain is in short supply, drying up any hopes of successful crops.

Extension agents say corn has taken the hardest hit.

Normally this time of year corn stalk this should be about 10 feet tall, but a lot of stalks have barely reached that. Farmers say they have produced little to no corn this season. So instead of harvesting this corn to feed to the dairy cattle, Turner had to chop it all down.

"This is only the second time we've had to chop corn down in July," said Turner.

That's saying a lot since the farm started back in the 60's. At the advice of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Agency, Bedford County Supervisors are now asking for help.

"We passed a resolution to petition the governor to declare Bedford a disaster area," said Roger Cheek, a supervisor.

This will allow farmers like Turner to receive state aid and financial support to recoup their losses.

"For one thing farmers can get a cheaper loan if they need money. And, if their crops are not producing and they need money to get by they can get a loan at discount rate," said Cheek.

Supervisors say it could take a few weeks to determine if they will be declared a disaster area. But Bedford County has had luck in the past so they are feeling confident about their chances.

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