Deal: Georgia counties receive federal agricultural disaster designation

June 27, 2011

In response to a letter sent by Gov. Nathan Deal, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack determined that, due to the ongoing drought, 22 Georgia counties suffered production losses great enough to warrant a secretarial natural disaster designation.

“I am grateful for Secretary Vilsack’s quick response to my request,” said Deal. “With this designation, farmers and their businesses will qualify for much-needed federal relief. It is my hope that this aid will relieve some of the burden this drought has caused.”

The counties, listed below, will become eligible to apply for emergency loans and other benefits provided by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008:

Appling
Atkinson
Bacon
Ben Hill
Brantley
Brooks
Bryan
Chatham
Coffee
Colquitt
Cook
Dodge
Effingham
Irwin
Jeff Davis
Lanier
Lowndes
Pierce
Telfair
Thomas
Wayne
Wheeler

Vilsack also wrote that, in accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, he is naming the following areas as contiguous disaster counties:

Berrien
Bleckley
Bulloch
Camden
Charlton
Clinch
Echols
Evans
Glynn
Grady
Laurens
Liberty
Long
McIntosh
Mitchell
Montgomery
Pulaski
Screven
Tattnall
Tift
Toombs
Treutlen
Turner
Ware
Wilcox
Worth

Like those in primary disaster counties, farmers in contiguous disaster counties may be considered for assistance under the Farm Service Agency (FSA). This includes FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistants.
Farmers may contact their local FSA office for more information.