All Of Alabama, Plus Escambia And Santa Rosa, Declared Natural Disaster Areas

December 22, 2010

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated the entire state of Alabama as a natural disaster area due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that began March 1, 2010. The disaster declaration also qualifies farmers and ranchers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in Florida for natural disaster assistance.

“President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to a wide variety of crops and prevented farmers from harvesting these crops,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses.”

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.

Farmers in eligible counties — including all counties in Alabama and Escambia and Santa Rosa in Florida — 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.

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