County extension offices ready to work when farmers receive aid

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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FULTON COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - All across Northeast Arkansas, county extension agents are on standby to help farmers as brutal temperatures threaten their crops.

On Thursday, July 21, the National Drought Monitor showed portions of Fulton, Randolph, and Sharp Counties to be included in the D3 level of drought.

When the drought monitor hits that level, it means federal and state aid can begin to be distributed to farmers who have been severely affected.

While farmers are still waiting on a timeline for the aid’s arrival, county extension offices are ready when it comes.

Cory Tyler with the University of Arkansas Extension Office in Salem said he can help farmers figure out where some of the relief money could be spent.

“Whenever producers get that money, they can reach out to us, and we can help them kind of go into a recovery phase and help them make those production decisions on where to go next,” he said.

Farmers have their fingers crossed for decent rain in the next few days, but even if there is a single drop, they are fearful of what is to come.

Multiple farmers have been forced to feed hay to animals earlier than expected, and some have even had to sell early to keep their heads above water.

Tyler is urging farmers to do what is best for them economically.

“The best thing to do is what would be economical for you and to get you through. Don’t act on your feelings. Act on how you will come out of this from an economical standpoint on the upper hand, rather than the bottom.”

An update to the drought monitor is expected to be released Thursday, July 28.

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