WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 12 counties in Tennessee as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that began June 1, 2010, and continues.
One of the designated counties Warren County.
“President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to a variety of vegetable crops including corn, soybeans, forage crops and tobacco, 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.”
Farmers and ranchers in Cannon County also qualify for natural disaster assistance because it is contiguous to Warren County.
All counties were designated natural disaster areas Nov. 16, 2010, 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.
USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; 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.