USDA Designates 11 Counties in Minnesota as Primary Natural Disaster areas

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 counties in Minnesota as natural disaster areas due to the combine effects of excessive rain, excessive heat, high winds, tornadoes and an early fall frost that occurred during the period of April 1, 2011, through Sept. 15, 2001. Those counties are:

Big Stone Lac Qui Parle Sibley Traverse
Chippewa Redwood Stearns Wright
Grant Renville Stevens

“Assistance at this point and time is critically important for producers Minnesota, especially in helping them keep their farmland healthy for the remainder of the year,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I realize that during this time of disaster, federal assistance will be needed until conditions improve as farmers strive to recover their losses.”

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Minnesota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Anoka Hennepin Morrison Sherburne
Benton Kandiyohi Murray Swift
Brown Le Sueur Nicollet Todd
Carver Lyon Otter Tail Wilkin
Cottonwood McLeod Pope Yellow Medicine
Douglas Meeker Scott

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North and South Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:

North Dakota
Richland

South Dakota

Deuel Grant Roberts

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Oct. 25, 2011, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), 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.

USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov via the “News and Events” link.

Source: USDA FSA

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