Monday, 17 December 2007 20:26
Thanks to a drought labeled as the worst in the
state’s recorded history, North Carolina’s crop economy may lose $573 million,
a state report says.
Preliminary estimates say soybean farmers suffered the
biggest loss, the Associated Press reports. The estimates do not include losses
for the livestock, poultry and dairy industries that have also struggled
through the drought. In 2006, the state’s crop added approximately $3 billion
to the economy. This year’s losses may set up the industry for more trouble
next year. The drought’s impact may be felt in the future through poor yields
and quality. Additionally, many farmers depleted their water resources to
supplement their irrigation. While congressional leaders have agreed to a provision
that would open federal agriculture assistance to farmers affected by the
drought, two thirds of the state remains under exceptional drought conditions-
with no end in sight.