Gov. Bob Riley has written U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer seeking a disaster declaration for Alabama counties stricken by drought during the 2008 growing season.
In a letter dated Dec. 29 and copied to Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, Alabama Farm Service Agency Executive Director Danny Crawford and Mike Kilgore, executive director of the Alabama Farmers Federation, Riley sought Schafer’s “urgent assistance on behalf of all Alabama Agricultural Producers” to declare “appropriate counties” as disaster areas.
Riley wrote that 146 counties were declared disaster areas due to drought in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. The governor also noted that 13 Alabama counties are contiguous to those declared disaster areas in neighboring states, adding that a majority of Alabama counties were considered to be under severe drought during the 2008 growing season.
Riley requested that Crawford proceed with a formal damage assessment to determine the extent of crop and livestock losses and damage for all counties within Alabama.