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The Scoop

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Verbatim: Counties get natural disaster designation

Statement issued Wednesday:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 52 counties in Indiana as natural disaster areas because of losses caused by drought that occurred Aug. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010.

“President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to pasture and forage crops, and we want to help,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses.”

The counties are:

Bartholomew, Gibson, Marion, Putnam

Brown, Greene, Martin, Randolph

Clark, Harrison, Monroe, Ripley

Clay, Hendricks, Morgan, Scott

Crawford, Huntington, Newton, Spencer

Daviess, Jackson, Noble, Sullivan

Dearborn, Jefferson, Ohio, Switzerland

Decatur, Jennings, Orange, Union

DeKalb, Johnson, Owen, Vanderburgh

Dubois, Knox, Parke, Vermillion

Fayette, LaPorte, Perry, Vigo

Floyd, LaGrange, Pike, Warrick

Franklin, Lawrence, Posey, Washington

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

Allen, Hamilton, Montgomery, Steuben

Benton, Hancock, Porter, Wabash

Boone, Henry, Rush, Warren

Delaware, Jasper, Shelby, Wayne

Elkhart, Jay, St. Joseph, Wells

Fountain, Kosciusko, Starke, Whitley

Grant, Lake

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

Illinois

Clark, Edgar, Iroquois, Lawrence, Wabash

Crawford, Gallatin, Kankakee, Vermilion, White

Kentucky

Boone, Hancock, Oldham

Breckinridge, Hardin, Trimble

Carroll, Henderson, Union

Daviess, Jefferson

Gallatin, Meade

Michigan

Berrien, Branch, St. Joseph

Ohio

Butler, Defiance, Preble

Darke, Hamilton, Williams

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Jan. 14, 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.

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