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Newsroom

Emergency Designation News Releases

Printable Version

 
Tanya Brown
202-690-4585
Tanya.brown@wdc.usda.gov
Release 0008.13

 
USDA Designates 92 Counties in Georgia as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Surrounding States

 
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2013 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 92 counties in Georgia as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought.

 
The counties are:

 
Baker
Dougherty
Laurens
Randolph
Baldwin
Douglas
Lee
Richmond
Bartow
Early
Lincoln
Rockdale
Bibb
Elbert
Lumpkin
Schley
Bleckley
Fannin
McDuffie
Spalding
Burke
Fayette
Macon
Stewart
Butts
Forsyth
Marion
Sumter
Calhoun
Fulton
Meriwether
Talbot
Carroll
Gilmer
Mitchell
Taliaferro
Chattahoochee
Glascock
Monroe
Taylor
Cherokee
Grady
Morgan
Terrell
Clay
Greene
Muscogee
Thomas
Clayton
Hancock
Newton
Troup
Cobb
Haralson
Oconee
Twiggs
Columbia
Harris
Oglethorpe
Union
Coweta
Heard
Paulding
Upson
Crawford
Henry
Peach
Walton
Crisp
Houston
Pickens
Warren
Dawson
Jasper
Pike
Washington
Decatur
Jefferson
Polk
Webster
De Kalb
Johnson
Pulaski
Wilcox
Dodge
Jones
Putnam
Wilkes
Dooly
Lama
Quitman
Wilkinson

 
“Our hearts go out to those Georgia farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Georgia producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

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

 
Barrow
Floyd
Madison
Towns
Ben Hill
Gordon
Miller
Treutlen
Brooks
Gwinnett
Murray
Turner
Clarke
Hall
Screven
Wheeler
Colquitt
Hart
Seminole
White
Emanuel
Jenkins
Telfair
Worth

 
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

 
Alabama

 
Barbour
Cleburne
Lee
Chambers
Henry
Randolph
Cherokee
Houston
Russell

 
Florida

 
Gadsden
Jackson
Jefferson
Leon

 
North Carolina

 
Cherokee
Clay

 

 

 
Abbeville
Allendale
Barnwell
McCormick
Aiken
Anderson
Edgefield

 
Tennessee
Polk

 
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Jan. 9, 2013, 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.

 
The Obama Administration remains committed to helping the thousands of farm families and businesses struggling with natural disasters. Actions taken by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2012 to provide assistance to producers impacted by the drought included:

 
  • Extended emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres, freeing up a record 2.8 million acres and as much as $200 million in forage and feed for ranchers during a challenging time.
  • Purchased $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks, to help relieve pressure on American livestock producers and bring the nation's meat supply in line with demand.
  • Reduced the emergency loan rate, from 3.75 percent to 2.25 percent, as well as making emergency loans available earlier in the season.
  • Allowing haying or grazing of cover crops without impacting the insurability of planted 2013 spring crops.
  • USDA worked with crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers, and one-third of all policyholders took advantage of the extended payment period.
  • Authorized $16 million in existing funds from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to target states experiencing exceptional and extreme drought.
  • Transferred $14 million in unobligated program funds into the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to help farmers and ranchers rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures in periods of severe drought.
  • Authorized haying and grazing of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) easement areas in drought-affected areas where haying and grazing is consistent with conservation of wildlife habitat and wetlands.
  • Lowered the penalty on CRP acres used for emergency haying or grazing, from 25 percent to 10 percent in 2012.
  • Simplified the Secretarial disaster designation process and reduced the time it takes to designate counties affected by disasters by 40 percent.

 
Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include 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.

 
Secretary Vilsack also reminds producers that Congress has not funded the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm.These are SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP); the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP); and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.

 
FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the “Newsroom” link.

 
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 

 

 

 

 

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