After months of hot, dry weather that devastated crops across the commonwealth, additional help is available to farmers in four more Pennsylvania counties following new natural disaster designations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“We appreciate that USDA Secretary Vilsack recognizes the hardships this summer’s weather has placed on our farmers. His designations offer much needed financial assistance to more Pennsylvania farmers,” said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Agriculture is always a partnership between farmers and Mother Nature, but many farms suffered tremendous drought-related crop loss this summer. We encourage affected farmers to work with the Farm Service Agency service centers in their communities.”
Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, and Elk counties joined the growing list of counties recognized for severe drought lasting eight or more weeks, extreme drought, or exceptional drought conditions.
USDA’s disaster designation means that farm operators in primary and contiguous counties can be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months following the date of USDA’s declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, as well as the security and repayment ability of the operator. Redding encouraged farmers to contact their local FSA offices for assistance.
Pennsylvania’s drought-designated counties include: Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Forest, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Mifflin, Montour, Philadelphia, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Warren, and Wayne.
- For information on your local FSA Service Centers in your area, visit http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app
- For online information about the FSA’s Emergency Loan Program (EM) and other disaster programs, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/disaster_assistance_program.pdf.
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