Governor Bob Riley and Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks will work together to distribute funds from the USDA’s drought relief program as quickly as possible to provide much needed assistance to Alabama’s farmers.

This funding is part of a federal program established by the USDA that the state of Alabama will administer.

Cattle farmers who live in the counties designated by the USGS Drought Monitoring System as “extreme” or “exceptional” between Mar. 7 and Aug. 31 will be eligible for the funds. While these counties were the most effected by drought in the state, all 67 counties in Alabama have experienced drought during the same period of time. Sparks stressed the importance of developing a comprehensive disaster bill that will include the entire state.

“There are counties that still need help,” said Sparks. “We are extremely thankful for the disaster funds we are going to receive for Alabama’s farmers, but we need to be sure we take care of all our farmers who have had problems because of the lack of rain.”

"We hope this is an interim program and we will continue to work with USDA to get additional assistance," Governor Riley said.

Current information on drought in Alabama can be found at: http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/?m=dryw&r=us&w=real%2Cmap