Special Report to Blowing Rock News from U.S. Department of Agriculture. October 24, 2015. WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 19 counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred from Sept. 22, 2015, through Oct. 4, 2015. Those counties are:
Our hearts go out to those North Carolina farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nations economy by sustaining the successes of Americas farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. Were also telling North Carolina producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in North Carolina also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:
Dillon and Horry
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Oct. 21, 2015, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDAs Farm Service Agency (FSA), 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 the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and FarmRaised Fish Program, and the Tree 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.