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County declared drought disaster

County declared drought disaster
USDA Farm Service Agency state executive director Gene Davidson announced 15 counties in Tennessee, including Weakley County, have received Secretarial Disaster Designation under the Secretarial Drought Fast-track.
These counties are eligible for FSA programs to assist with recovery.
The primary Tennessee counties are Benton, Dyer, Houston, Montgomery, Stewart, Carroll, Gibson, Humphreys, Obion, Tipton, Crockett, Henry, Lake, Shelby and Weakley.
The following Tennessee counties are eligible because they are contiguous: Cheatham, Dickson, Henderson, Lauderdale, Perry, Decatur, Haywood, Hickman, Madison, Robert-son and Fayette.
Several counties in adjacent states are also eligible because they are contiguous.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 12, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Recent changes in the disaster program will provide faster and more flexible assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters.
There are three significant improvements related to Secretarial disaster designations: a final rule that simplifies the process for Secretarial disaster designations and will result in a 40 percent reduction in processing time for most counties affected by disasters; a reduced interest rate for emergency loans that effectively lowers the current rate from 3.75 percent to 2.25 percent; and a payment reduction on Conservation Reserve Program lands qualified for emergency haying and grazing in 2012, from 25 to 10 percent.
USDA encourages all farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance companies and local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Centers, as applicable, to report damages to crops or livestock loss.
In addition, USDA reminds livestock producers to keep thorough records of losses, including additional expenses for such things as food purchased due to lost supplies.
More information about federal crop insurance may be found at www.rma.usda.gov. Additional resources to help farmers and ranchers deal with flooding may be found at http://www.usda.gov/disaster

WCP 7.24.12

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