Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is requesting that three Minnesota counties — Lake of the Woods, Marshall and Roseau — be designated as federal disaster areas by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The designation could qualify farmers in these counties for low-interest loans to help recover from extensive crop damage suffered from severe rainfall, hail and heavy winds earlier this summer.
“We are committed to helping these farmers mitigate the loss incurred by damaged crops,” the Governor said. “Securing federal assistance is an important step toward ensuring Minnesota farms remain strong.”
To be eligible for federal assistance, a county must have one or more crops sustain a 30 percent or greater loss. The Minnesota State Emergency Board determined these three counties met that threshold.
The Governor’s request was to be made to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, who has the authority to designate counties as federal agriculture disaster areas, making farmers eligible for low interest loans through USDA.
The USDA will respond to the Governor’s request within four to six weeks. If approved, contiguous counties would also be eligible for emergency loan designations.
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