Local News

Ag Secretary Designates 73 N.C. Counties As Disaster Areas

Posted July 23, 2002

— Due to adverse weather conditions across North Carolina, the U.S. secretary of agriculture announced that 73 counties in the state have been designated as agricultural disaster areas.

The decision means that farmers and ranchers with losses are immediately eligible for emergency farm loans.

"This assistance will provide much-needed relief for North Carolina farmers who have suffered from losses due to these natural disasters," Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said.

Fifty-eight counties in North Carolina were named as primary disaster areas due to abnormally low temperatures and drought. Officials added 15 other counties to the list because they are contiguous.

Farmers in the state are also eligible for Conservation Reserve Program emergency haying and grazing. The government also waived rental reduction fees to encourage donation of hay to farmers and ranchers who could use it immediately.

Farmers and ranchers in eligible counties have eight months to apply for the loans to help cover part of their actual losses. The

Farm Service Agency

will consider each loan application on its merits.

Interested farmers are asked to contact their local FSA office for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.

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