USDA Designates 2 Counties in North Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated two counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought
PoliticalNews.me - Nov 09,2012 - USDA Designates 2 Counties in North Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Producers in Montana
WASHINGTON, - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated two counties in North Dakota as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the recent drought
The counties are:
Burke and Divide
"Our hearts go out to those North Dakota farmers and ranchers affected by the 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."
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
All other North Dakota counties that would be eligible under 7 CFR 759.5 (a), already have been designated as primary natural disaster counties.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Montana also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Nov. 7, 2012, 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 is committed to helping the thousands of farm families and businesses who continue to struggle with the drought. Recently, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced an extension for emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres through Nov. 30, 2012, freeing up forage and feed for ranchers as they look to recover from this challenging time. Other actions by USDA to provide assistance to producers impacted by the drought include:
• Intent to purchase up to $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.
• Reducing 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.
• Authorizing $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.
• Initiating transfer