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Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:00am

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Visits Georgia

Federal officials visited Georgia farms impacted by drought. They say Georgia is being hit especially hard.

U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited three Georgia farms in Southwest Georgia’s Calhoun County. She says it was one sad view after the next.

She says even though most of the attention has been focused on the Midwest, Georgia actually has the highest percent of acreage in the most extreme category of exceptional drought.

“I don’t want people to not realize that our producers here in the south are also getting hit very hard by this drought.”

Last week the USDA cut rates on emergency loans for farmers in 29 states. Now they’re asking crop insurance companies to voluntarily extend grace periods for farmers making payments. Georgia’s been in a drought since 2009.