Farmer Who Suffered From Drought Sell Equipment

By: Rhiana Huckins Email
By: Rhiana Huckins Email

Last Saturday, Dean County had one of their major farm equipment auctions.

Counties across the tri state put up millions of dollars of equipment for sale.

Unfortunately, a large portion of that was from farmers who just couldn't make it through the dry spell.

Auction Manager Jon Williams said, "30 to 50 farmers sold equipment to get out because of the drought this year."

The dollar amount of this equipment totaled up to be over $1.5 million dollars.

In order to save their crops, some farmers had to take drastic measures so that their business would stay alive.

Joe Todd is a Houston County syrup farmer. His family business has been alive for five generations now and has been fortunate to keep it going. He says, "The drought on top of a drought really crippled us. We knew we weren't going to have a harvest if we didn't irrigate, so I bought an irrigation system in August. I feel like it paid for itself last year."

Because of financial circumstances, that isn't an option for many farmers, but big auctions give them a chance to get equipment at a discounted rate.

“I bought this for spare parts because they don't make cane mills anymore,” Todd said, of an item he purchased at the local auction. “The mill appears to be in good shape."

Generally, farm equipment in good condition would be sold for about 30 percent less than the cost of a new piece of equipment.

While some farmers had no choice but to give up, others are left to pick up the pieces.

Farmers and ranchers who suffered losses between February 28th and December 31st, 2007 can apply for disaster payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information on those loans and for other helpful recourses, you can visit the Alabama Farmers Federation Website by CLICKING the link below.


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