WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 21 counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by multiple disaster conditions.

USDA Designates 21 Counties in North Dakota as a Primary Natural Disaster Area with Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

Contact:
Latawnya Dia (202)720-7962

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2016 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 21 counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by multiple disaster conditions.

"Our hearts go out to those North Dakota 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 North Dakota producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."

Disaster Number 1: USDA has designated Burke, Cavalier, Divide, Grand Forks, Nelson and Sheridan counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of excessive heat, excessive rain, frost, excessive snow, drought, hail, flooding, high winds, lightning, weather-related insects and diseases that occurred from Jan. 1, 2015, and continues.

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

BensonMcHenryRamseyWalsh
BurleighMcLeanRenvilleWard
EddyMountrailSteeleWells
GriggsPembinaTownerWilliams
KidderPierceTraill 

Disaster Number 2: USDA has designated Billings, Eddy, Golden Valley, McKenzie, Ramsey, Stark and Williams counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of freeze, frost, and drought that occurred from March 1, 2015, through Oct. 1, 2015.

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

BensonFosterMercerSlope
BurkeGrantMortonTowner
CavalierGriggsMountrailWalsh
DivideHettingerNelsonWells
Dunn   

Farmers and ranchers in Fallon, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Wibaux counties in Montana also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Disaster Number 3: USDA has designated Benson, Emmons, Golden Valley, Logan, McLean and Wells counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the combined effects of drought, excessive heat, high winds and hail that occurred from March 15, 2015, through Oct. 30, 2015.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

BillingsLaMoureMountrailSioux
BurleighMcHenryNelsonSlope
DunnMcIntoshOliverStutsman
EddyMcKenziePierceTowner
FosterMercerRamseyWard
KidderMortonSheridan 

Farmers and ranchers in Fallon and Wibaux counties in Montana and Campbell and Corson counties in South Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Disaster Number 4: USDA has designated Burleigh and Walsh counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain that occurred from April 1, 2015, and continues.

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

CavalierKidderNelsonRamsey
EmmonsMcLeanOliverSheridan
Grand ForksMortonPembina 

Farmers and ranchers in Marshall County in Minnesota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Feb. 24, 2016, 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.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree 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.

FSA news releases are available on FSA's website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the "Newsroom" link.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).