Texas Gov. Requests USDA Assistance for 2 Counties

June 15, 2005

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency provide disaster relief assistance for Matagorda and Knox counties where farms and ranches received damage due to severe weather.

Matagorda County experienced high winds and tornadoes May 29, and Knox County experienced excessive rain, flash floods, hail, high winds and lightning May 31.

Initial reports from Matagorda County estimate that 3,500 acres of milo and 1,100 acres of corn were damaged by the storm. Damage to farm buildings, equipment and machinery is estimated at $248,000. In Knox County, officials estimate 92,137 acres of wheat and 10,000 acres of cotton were damaged. Farm buildings, equipment and machinery damages are estimated at $325,000.

If the USDA request is approved, qualified farm operators in designated counties will be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production for physical losses, or a maximum of $500,000. The agency offers additional programs, such as technical assistance, to eligible farmers.

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