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Relief Package Considered for Farmers Hit by Irene

State agricultural officials travel to eastern North Carolina this week to get an update on recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irene. Leaders from the state Department of Agriculture will meet with farmers today in Rocky Mount and Thursday in Winton. Former Congressman Bob Etheridge is an advisor to the governor for hurricane recovery. He says some crop damage might not be covered by state or federal disaster funds.

Bob Etheridge: "There will be some things that are in the "unmet needs" category that won't be covered by insurance or any of this. And that's where we're trying to put a package together and have that ready for the governor hopefully by the end of the month and for people in Washington so Congress can take a look at it."
A report from the USDA predicts this year's tobacco and corn production will be down as much as 18 percent from 2010. North Carolina has a $300 million reserve for emergencies. Etheridge did not rule out dipping into those funds. He says the state is putting together a relief package to cover unmet needs.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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