Hurricane Idalia Batters Georgia and NASDA on USDA Authority
**Hurricane Idalia battered Georgia farms and rural communities after sweeping across Southeast Georgia on August 30.
Initial assessments released by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Extension detailed major agriculture damage in 13 counties.
Idalia uprooted pecan trees, blew over corn and cotton stalks, battered vegetables, and tossed tobacco leaves to the ground.
She also damaged farm equipment, sheds and fences.
Many farmers ran generators for days to keep their operations running until power was restored.
**U.S. Hard Red Winter Wheat exports are forecast down 10 million bushels this month to 155 million, the lowest since records began in 1973-74.
HRW supplies have seen a long-term downturn in U.S. acreage as corn and soybeans gained acres.
Historically, HRW was the leading class of American exports, but this year it’s forecast to be the third-largest class, behind both Hard Red Spring and White Wheat.
**The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture set policy priorities for the upcoming year during its annual meeting.
NASDA will advocate to give the USDA more authority to be flexible in serving farmers and ranchers who often face challenges in seeking disaster assistance.
NASDA also adopted a new policy of supporting laws protecting agricultural and forestry operations from nuisance lawsuits.