Georgia farmers received welcomed news this week as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted a primary disaster declaration for 83 counties and a contiguous disaster declaration for 33 counties.
On Sept. 9, 2004, Gov. Sonny Perdue requested a disaster declaration for 93 counties due to losses by high winds and excessive rains associated with Hurricane Frances. Primary and contiguous counties will be eligible for emergency low-interest loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA)
“I am pleased Secretary Veneman has designated 116 Georgia counties as eligible for disaster assistance,” the Governor said. “Many of our farmers experienced serious hardship due to these storms. I will continue seeking the disaster assistance they need.”
The 83 counties declared primary natural disaster areas include Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Calhoun, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Crawford, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Echols, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Grady, Green, Hancock, Harris, Henry, Houston, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Pulaski, Schley, Seminole, Spalding, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson, and Worth.
“The State Emergency Board and local Farm Service Agents will continue to work diligently to collect the necessary data for Damage Assessment Reports to be sent to USDA, so that affected counties can be deemed eligible for deferral assistance,” said Steve Newton, State Director of the Farm Service Agency. “I would like to thank Governor Perdue and his staff for the excellent response and cooperation in this effort.”
Thirty-three counties were named as contiguous disaster counties. These counties include Baldwin, Bryan, Candler, Clay, Clayton, Cook, Coweta, Crisp, DeKalb, Early, Effingham, Fayette, Glynn, Irwin, Jasper, Jones, Liberty, McDuffie, McIntosh, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Putnam, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Rockdale, Screven, Troup, Warren, and Wilkes.
The 10 counties that did not receive a primary disaster declaration include Bryan, Clay, Clayton, Effingham, Fayette, McDuffie, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, and Warren. According to USDA, these counties did not sustain a 30 percent or greater production loss in a single enterprise.
All 10 counties will be eligible for FSA emergency loan assistance as they are included in the contiguous disaster declaration.
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