ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue today announced that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated 151 Georgia counties as primary disaster areas due to caused by drought and excessive heat from July 1, 2010 to the present. The designation was in response to request submitted by Governor Perdue.
“Georgia’s economy relies heavily on our agriculture industry,” said Governor Perdue. “I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s commitment to do everything in our power to assist farmers in counties that have been hit hard by dry weather and extreme heat in the past several months.”
Based on USDA Damage Assessment Reports, farmers in 151 Georgia counties sustained a 30 percent or greater production loss to a single enterprise due to the drought conditions. The disaster designation by the USDA allows farmers in the designated counties to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The 151 counties are as follows:
Also as a result of this designation, eight contiguous counties are eligible for assistance in accordance with section 321 (a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Those counties are as follows: Camden, Glynn, Jasper, Morgan, Clayton, Greene, McIntosh and Newton.
Under the designation, farm operators in both primary and contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. Farmers in qualified counties have until July 26, 2011 to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will review each application on its own merits by considering the extent of production losses, security available, and repayment ability. SURE Program applications for 2010 crop losses will be accepted in 2011, when the 2010 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.