A bill under consideration by state lawmakers would prevent farmers from withdrawing some water from the Flint River basin during severe drought. Opponents say the bill would permit government overreach, and threaten individual property rights. But the bill’s supporters say it would be in effect during extreme weather conditions only, and would pertain only to water from augmented stream flows.
Farmers in eastern Georgia say heavy rain this summer has translated to higher prices at fruit and vegetable stands. Mattie Judge, who sells produce at the Augusta State Farmer's Market, said finding okra, butter beans, squash and string beans to stock her stand with has been difficult.
A Georgia farmer took part in a Washington roundtable Monday with Pres. Obama about the immigration overhaul under consideration. Blueberry grower Jason Berry represented the views of farmers from Georgia’s largest fruit sector. He's with Dole Berry Co. in Homerville, in southeast Georgia. He was part of a group of business leaders meeting with Obama.
Wet weather is causing difficulty for Georgia farmers. The owner of Cedar Hollow Farm in Cleveland, Glen Cook, says the large amount of rainfall has made it hard to weed and do other essential field work. Jody Farmer of Hall County said he is roughly a month behind schedule working his wheat and soybean crops.
After cracking down on illegal immigrants, Georgia may eliminate a program meant to help farmers navigate the complicated process for getting visas for migrant laborers. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's budget plan calls for cutting $150,000 in funding for two liaison positions at the Department of Agriculture. The employees were supposed to work as go-betweens, helping farmers use federal programs that grant visas to migrant laborers.
Starting Tuesday, Georgia farmers will need a special card to get their sales tax exemption on seed, fertilizer, and other so-called "farm inputs." Until now, they’ve only had to fill out a form at the cash register attesting that they are eligible for the tax break.
Georgia’s Christmas tree growers are gearing up for a busy selling season. Farmers say more Georgians want to be green while also creating family traditions. And they say Georgians have been buying more real trees in recent years.