USDA Designates 42 Counties in North Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster areas

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 42 counties in North Dakota as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by the combined effects of spring snowstorms, frosts and freezes in late spring and early fall, excessive rain, flooding, ground saturation, landslides, high winds, hail, tornadoes, periods of unseasonably cool spring temperatures, excessive summer heat and weather-related insects and diseases that occurred from Jan. 1, 2011, and continues. Those counties are:

Barnes Foster Mercer Rolette
Benson Golden Valley Mountrail Sargent
Billings Grand Forks Nelson Steele
Bottineau Grant Oliver Stutsman
Burke Griggs Pembina Towner
Cass Hettinger Pierce Traill
Cavalier La Moure Ramsey Walsh
Dickey McHenry Ransom Ward
Divide McIntosh Renville Wells
Dunn McKenzie Richland Williams
Eddy McLean

“North Dakota farmers have experienced several disaster conditions over a long period of time, which have caused major losses to a wide variety of crops such as corn, wheat, canola, flax, sunflowers, dry beans, pasture and forage crops,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Through this designation, President Obama and I will give producers in these counties some very much needed federal disaster assistance for its agricultural industry.”

Farmers and ranchers in Adams, Burleigh, Emmons, Kidder, Logan, Morton, Sheridan, Sioux, Slope and Stark counties in North Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

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

Minnesota

Clay Marshall Polk Wilkin
Kittson Norman Traverse

Montana

Fallon Richland Roosevelt Sheridan
Wibaux

South Dakota

Brown Campbell Marshall McPherson
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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