WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Cleveland, Gaston and Rutherford counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

USDA Designates 3 Counties in North Carolina as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

Latawnya Dia
202-720-7962
Latawnya.Dia@wdc.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Cleveland, Gaston and Rutherford counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Our hearts go out to those North Carolina 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 nations economy by sustaining the successes of Americas farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. Were also telling North Carolina producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.

Farmers and ranchers in Buncombe, Burke, Henderson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg and Polk counties in North Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in Cherokee, Spartanburg and York counties in South Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Sept. 23, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDAs 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.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the 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 FSAs website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the Newsroom link.

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