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Newsroom

Emergency Designation News Releases

Printable Version
Release 0016.13

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

 

 
USDA Designates 16 Counties in North Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Surrounding States

 

 
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2013 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 16 counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of frosts and freezes, flooding, severe thunderstorms, hail, high winds, drought, and weather-related insect and disease damage that began Jan. 1, 2012, and continues.

 
The counties are:

 
Adams
Hettinger
Mercer
Sheridan
Dunn
Kidder
Morton
Sioux
Emmons
McKenzie
Oliver
Towner
Grant
McLean
Pembina
Walsh

 
“Our hearts go out to those Missouri 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 Missouri 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 Missouri also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

 

 
Benson
Logan
Rolette
Billings
McHenry
Slope
Bowman
McIntosh
Stark
Burleigh
Mountrail
Stutsman
Cavalier
Nelson
Ward
Golden Valley
Pierce
Wells
Grand Forks
Ramsey
Williams

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

 
Minnesota

 
Kittson
Marshall

 
Montana

 
Richland
Roosevelt
Wibaux

 
South Dakota

 
Campbell
Corson
Harding
Perkins

 
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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