North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler has requested $250 million from the General Assembly to provide disaster assistance to farmers affected by the storm. However, it's estimated that Hurricane Florence caused $1.1 billion in crop damage and livestock losses across North Carolina.
“It’s not designed to make farmers whole, it’s really designed to be a bridge between this year and another year," said Andrea Ashby, Director of Public Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "It’s a tough time for farmers right now.”
If legislators approve the agriculture disaster assistance, Ashby said it would help farmers to start planting next season’s crops.
“We’ve heard from some that have said we’re not sure we can go again, we’re not sure we can get financing to plant another year’s crop. So that’s our concern, that we’ll have farmers who just decide they can no longer stay in business.”
More than 1,500 farmers have already applied for assistance. The deadline to sign up is December 10th. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is also seeking federal assistance but Ashby said nothing has been approved.