North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann Veneman has designated 35 North Dakota counties secretarial disaster areas due to losses caused by drought, late season frost, flooding, snow and rain storms, and severe temperatures.
“We are continuing to do all we can to help farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to drought or drowned-out fields,” Hoeven said.
Hoeven requested the designation in a July 20 letter to Veneman in response to drought conditions in the southwest and excessive precipitation in the northeast and north central portion of the state. He followed up his request in meetings with White House Agriculture Advisor Chuck Conner and USDA Chief of Staff Dale Moore in Washington, D.C. last month.
The Department of Agriculture reviewed the Damage Assessment Reports for all 35 counties, along with additional information submitted by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), and determined that sufficient production losses had occurred to warrant a Secretarial disaster declaration. With this designation, producers are eligible for low-interest emergency loans through the FSA.
According to Hoeven, the following counties were declared primary natural disaster areas: Adams, Billings, Bottineau, Bowman, Burke, Burleigh, Cavalier, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Emmons, Foster, Golden Valley, Grand Forks, Grant, Hettinger, McHenry, McKenzie, Mercer, Morton, Mountrail, Nelson, Oliver, Pembina, Pierce, Ramsey, Ransom, Renville, Rolette, Sioux, Slope, Stark, Towner, Walsh and Ward. The remaining 18 counties, though not declared disaster areas, have been named contiguous disaster counties so that producers in those counties are eligible for emergency loan assistance.
Hoeven reportedly continues to work with Washington pressing for support of an agriculture disaster assistance package that will go even further in helping North Dakota producers.
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