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USDAWASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 32 North Carolina counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers who suffered losses due to excessive flooding and wind caused by Hurricane Florence that occurred Sept. 14, 2018, and continuing, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

The counties in the primary damaged area are Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Granville, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne, and Wilson counties in North Carolina.

This designation by Secretary Perdue allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous North Carolina counties of Alamance, Anson, Dare, Davidson, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Halifax, Martin, Orange, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Stanly, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren and Washington, along with Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry and Marlboro counties in South Carolina and Danville, Halifax, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is July 8, 2019.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at https://www.farmers.gov/recover.

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