Farmers Needing Assistance After Debby
Suwannee County - It could cost you more at the supermarket if farmers can not recover their losses from Tropical Storm Debby. Federal officials have toured farms affected by the storm, after officials sent Governor Rick Scott a letter informing him of the counties flooded will get assistance.
These are the sinkholes that formed after Tropical Storm Debby hit North Central Florida in June.
"If they stay underwater for three days, they probably not going to survive," Farmer Randall Dasher said.
Dasher grows peanuts and small grain on his farm, and says he's never seen water do this much damage.
"About 110 acres on the farm, we lost 19," Dasher said.
Which equates to 20 thousand dollars gone. His crops looked lively green, but Debby destroyed them leaving them bare.
"The water was about waist deep, all the way near the carport by the house," Dasher said.
Dasher says it took the flood water ten days to recede, forming this sinkhole in his peanut filed and another one about ten feet away.
"About 15- 20 feet deep" Dasher said.
And he's hoping for help.
"We'll see if somebody got some rock to bring in, " Dasher said.
"Our field offices submit storm reports" Tim Manning State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency said.
Storm reports that would give U.S. government officials a better view of the damage , for now they settled for actually taking a first hand look.
"The sinkhole damage goes far beyond that," Manning said.
So much so that farmers in Columbia, Suwannee and Lafayette counties have reported livestock, and food damage.
"The milk truck couldn't get into so they had to dump milk," Manning said.
Manning's goal is to get as much help as possible from congress since the Farm Service Agency can't pay the entire cost of repairing the damage.
"Our florida delegation and other members of congress, will help appropiate the funding, to help restore the farms we saw today, back to productive agriculture," Manning said.
In the meantime, Dasher plans to fix his own field while planting seeds of hope.
Right now Manning says they're collecting data.
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