Ag Chief Steve Troxler makes $300M-plus request on Florence aid

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A hemp farmer in Bladen County lost everything after Hurricane Florence destroyed his crops. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s agriculture agency is asking for more than $300 million from the state for the cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Florence, most of which would go as direct payments to farmers who lost crops and livestock.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler made the pitch to a legislative committee Monday, a week before the General Assembly is set to reconvene to consider more Florence aid. Lawmakers set aside $50 million to match federal funds during a special session last week.

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Most of Troxler’s request – $250 million – would go into a program to pay farmers with uninsured and underinsured crop, livestock and poultry losses. Committee members wanted more details before fully endorsing the idea, especially on recipient qualifications and ensuring taxpayer funds go to people who really need them.