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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Disaster aid available for farm losses

Statement issued Friday concerning counties in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 41 counties in Ohio as natural disaster areas because of losses caused by the combined effects of varying periods of excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, high winds, hail, tornadoes, drought, freeze and frost that occurred April 1 – Aug. 3, 2010.

The counties are:

Adams, Fairfield, Jackson, Mercer, Perry, Union, Ashtabula, Gallia, Lake, Miami, Pike, Van Wert, Athens, Geauga, Lawrence, Morgan, Putnam, Vinton, Auglaize, Guernsey, Licking, Muskingum, Scioto, Washington, Brown, Hancock, Lorain, Noble, Seneca, Wood, Clermont, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Shelby, Wyandot Crawford, Hocking, Medina, Paulding, Trumbull

“President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to corn, oats, soybeans, wheat and forage crops as well as a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and prevented farmers from being able to harvest these crops,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses.”

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

Allen, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Logan, Montgomery, Sandusky, Ashland, Darke, Hardin Madison, Morrow, Summit, Belmont, Defiance, Harrison, Mahoning, Pickaway, Tuscarawas, Champaign, Delaware, Highland, Marion, Portage, Warren, Clark, Erie, Huron, Meigs, Richland, Wayne, Clinton, Franklin, Knox, Monroe, Ross, Williams, Coshocton, Fulton

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:

Indiana: Adams, Allen, Jay

Kentucky: Boyd, Campbell, Lewis, Pendleton, Bracken, Greenup, Mason

Michigan: Lenawee, Monroe

Pennsylvania: Crawford, Erie, Mercer

West Virginia: Cabell, Pleasants ,Wayne, Tyler Wood Mason

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Sept. 29, 2010, 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.

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