A year after the hurricane Irene transformed the agricultural landscape of more 225,000 acres of land in nine Northeastern states, farmers remain in dire need of financial help. This is despite the fact that the US Department of Agriculture, through its Risk Management Agency, has already spent about $78.6 million in farm insurance claims in a course of one year. The said agency only finances insured farmers; and not all farmers though have crop insurance. Hence, the second resort is usually bad credit loans.
Dairy farmer Doug Turner has reported that the money he has received from the government has greatly helped him in getting life back to his farm. However, he would still need more than $50,000 to have the riverbanks done. Turner is a beneficiary of several Vermont groups that raise money for farmers but he intends to apply for more because he cannot afford to take out a loan.
There is a sense of urgency in fixing riverbanks and getting livestock back on track because reports show a possibility of the coming of spring earlier this year followed by a series of cold snaps and a dry summer. There is also an anticipated spike in feed costs because of the coming Midwestern drought.
At present, the conditions in the Northeastern states have driven the prices of grain feeds up. Most of the farmers rely on their crop insurance until today while others are actively looking for agencies to tap. Bad credit loans have become indispensible tools around the area because of their promise for immediate actions. They provide better alternatives to banks that still refuse to revise their guidelines on loans even after seeing hurricane Irene’s impact to the local economy a year after. Prices of commodities remain to be up especially on farm produce like milk.
The need for an alternative source of money can also be attributed to delayed insurance money – both from the national government and private insurance companies. The funds are needed not just in fixing riverbanks but also to fuel machines and hire manpower to plow the fields and/or handpick leaves in areas where harvesters won’t work. The money is also needed to make sure that spilled fuel in the soil has been treated.
The crisis in the local farming industry has also driven to more debts on the part of the farmers. Credit bureaus, on the other hand, remain to record financial scores and companies still use them to gauge an individual’s credit worthiness. No adjustments in favor of the ailing farmers have been recorded. Hence, it is to be expected that the onslaught on the local farmers will continue a year or two from now as evidenced by the increase in bad credit occurrences.
But despite all these setbacks, live continues to spring in the nine Northeastern states affected by the hurricane. Some vegetable farms are starting to regain their stability through successful crop harvests. Tobacco farmers are almost ready to plant their crops again and dairy farmers are slowly getting back on their feet too. It would only need a little more patience and a lot more bad credit loans to make sure that this improvement is sustained.