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USDA Designates Nine Counties in North Carolina as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2017 — In response to a request from Lorraine Dillard, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 9 counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:

Cherokee Gaston Macon
Clay Haywood Madison
Cleveland Lincoln Swain

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Buncombe Graham Jackson Transylvania
Burke Henderson Mecklenburg Yancey
Catawba Iredell Rutherford  

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Georgia
Fannin, Rabun, Towns and Union

South Carolina
Cherokee, Oconee and York

Tennessee
Blount, Cocke, Greene, Monroe, Polk, Sevier and Unicoi

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Feb. 23, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and theTree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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