On Tuesday, October 22nd, the Bland County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution declaring Bland County a disaster area due to the extreme drought conditions experience over the past few months.
Bland County, like most of southwest Virginia, has experienced significantly less rain than normal this growing season, while experiencing unseasonably high temperatures fostering drought conditions across the County, thus severely affecting farmers and the agriculture community. The USDA Farm Service Agency, via the Virginia Cooperative Extension, has reported that approximately 38,000 acres of farmland has been adversely affected from drought conditions, with an estimated 60% loss to hay, crop, and pastureland and there is concern that due the timing of the drought conditions, future rain events this fall will not have a significant positive impact on the rebounding of summer or winter grass production. “The seasonal timing, as well as the length of time the County went without significant rainfall, has been devastating to local farmers,” stated Randy Johnson, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “Hunter Romano, with the local Cooperative Extension office, has been working with various agencies to identify what assistance options, if any are available. Supervisor Adam Kidd commented, “The Board wanted to be proactive and have all local documentation in place, should any assistance be made available from various agencies.”
Farmers and agricultural produces are encouraged to communicate with Hunter Romano at the Virginia Cooperative Extension office in Bland should they have any questions about possible assistance at 688-3542.