More Agricultural Disaster Areas

September 16, 2005 - 08:24

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recently designated counties in California, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Virginia as primary agricultural disaster areas, making certain farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers (including horticulture) in the counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

“I’m pleased that USDA can offer assistance to farmers and ranchers who have struggled with severe drought and weather conditions,” said Johanns. “These agriculture disaster designations will enable eligible producers to apply for low-interest emergency loans from USDA to help cover their losses.”

Affected Areas

California. Sutter county was designated as a primary disaster area on Aug. 25, 2005, due to losses caused by unseasonable rain that occurred March 8-19, 2005. Eight more counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to those listed above.

Kansas. The following counties were designated as primary disaster areas on Aug. 25, 2005, due to losses caused by severe storms including hail, high winds, lightening, excessive rain, flash flooding and flooding that occurred June 3-16, 2005: Butler, Gove, Meade, Trego, Ford, Grant, Sedgwick and Wabaunsee. Forty other counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to those listed above.

Minnesota. Twenty-four counties were designated as primary disaster areas on Aug. 25, 2005, due to losses caused by severe storms with excessive rainfall, hail and high winds that occurred May 7, 2005, and are continuing. Twenty-eight counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to the other 24.

Oregon. Polk and Yamhill counties were designated as primary disaster areas on Aug. 31, 2005, due to losses caused by heavy winds, rains and cool temperatures that occurred March 27-April 30, 2005. Seven other counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to Polk and Yamhill.

Texas. Wilbarger county was designated as a primary disaster area on Aug. 31, 2005, due to losses caused by drought, high winds and excessive temperatures that occurred March 1-July 5, 2005. Four other counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to Wilbarger.

Virginia. Fauquier County was designated as a primary disaster area on Aug. 31, 2005, due to losses caused by drought and high temperatures that occurred April 1-June 30, 2005. Seven other counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to those listed above.

Guidelines

The counties listed above were designated agricultural disaster areas, making all qualified farm operators eligible for emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merit, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs available, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

USDA has also made available other programs to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

Those interested may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information, including the names of all of the counties mentioned above, is also available online at:http://www.disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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