Alabama Agricultural Development Authority Offers Low Cost Program
Alabama Agricultural Development Authority’s Executive Director John Gamble recently announced an expanded AADA loan program to enhance row crop, vegetables, and 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% rate with a 4-year amortization are now available. Funds from these loans can be used separately or in conjunction with other funding sources to meet individual needs.
Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries and AADA Chairman John McMillan stated, "Irrigation is most likely not the answer for every producer, but it can take a lot of climate risk out of the production equation. Quality of product, volume of product and more potential farm profit are all benefits from wise irrigation usage."
Alabama only has 120,000 irrigated acres as compared to Mississippi and Georgia who each report about 1.5 million acres of crops under irrigation. Furthermore, Alabama imports $1.4 billion of corn and soybeans to support the Alabama poultry industry. With irrigation, 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.