Alabama Agricultural Development Authority (AADA) Executive Director John Gamble recently announced an expanded AADA loan program to enhance row crop, vegetables, fruit and nut tree production in the state via the adoption of irrigation technology.
According to Gamble, production can nearly double or triple given proper irrigation management.
AADA has committed an initial $500,000 to this program. Low-cost loans up to $20,000 at a 3.5 percent rate with a four-year amortization are now available.
Funds from these loans can be used separately or in conjunction with other funding sources to meet individual needs.
"Irrigation is most likely not the answer for every producer, but it can take a lot of climate risk out of the production equation," said Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries and AADA Chairman John McMillan.
"Quality of product, volume of product, and more potential farm profit are all benefits from wise irrigation usage."
Alabama has 120,000 irrigated acres; Mississippi and Georgia each report about 1.5 million acres of crops under irrigation.
Alabama imports $1.4 billion of corn and soybeans to support the Alabama poultry industry. With irrigation, McMillan said Alabama farmers could likely capture a large percentage of this market.
If this becomes a reality, local economic development would explode and local investment would dramatically increase.
For more information, contact Gamble at (334) 240-7245 or [email protected]. Information packets and an application will be provided.