Federal farm assistance approved
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 9:36 pm
NASHVILLE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a request from Gov. Phil Bredesen for federal farm assistance for 11 additional counties in West and Middle Tennessee due to losses caused by heavy and historic rainfall and subsequent flooding that began on April 30.
Twenty-four adjoining counties are also eligible for assistance.
The governor made the requests to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in separate letters June 4 and June 15. The 11 counties designated as primary natural disaster areas include Cheatham, Dyer, Giles, Hardin, Haywood, Lake, Madison, Mont-gomery, Obion, Tipton and Williamson.
“I appreciate these additional county designations, which will help bring more federal assistance to farmers who experienced significant crop and livestock losses and damage to farm infrastructure,” said Bredesen. “USDA has responded promptly to Tennessee’s requests, and I hope this will help lessen the impact to farmers and rural communities that were hit hard by this catastrophe.”
Also qualifying as adjoining disaster counties are: Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Davidson, Decatur, Dick-son, Fayette, Gibson, Hard-eman, Henderson, Hickman, Houston, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Stewart, Wayne and Weakley.
The announcement follows the USDA disaster designation of 13 primary counties and 19 adjoining counties last month. A complete list of presidential and secretarial designated counties by state can be found at http://www.fema.gov/dhsusda/searchState.do.
The designation makes farm operators in both the primary and adjoining counties eligible to be considered for assistance, including emergency loans and supplemental farm payments, through their local USDA Farm Service Agency. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial designation to apply for emergency loan assistance.
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Tennessee farmers reported moderate to severe damage to 39 percent of the state’s corn crop and 21 percent of winter wheat following May flooding. Damage to fruit and vegetable crops and nursery stock were also reported as well as significant damage to farm infrastructure including access roads, levees, fences, conservation practices, buildings and equipment.
For the latest crop forecast and a weekly report on crop conditions across the state, visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes this report available each Monday at 3 p.m., April through November.
Published in The Messenger 7.9.10