Twenty New Iowa Counties Declared Federal Disaster Areas for Agriculture

Twenty New Iowa Counties Declared Federal Disaster Areas for Agriculture

USDA Secretary Vilsack's designation last week clears the way for federal assistance for farmers who've had flooding and related crop weather problems in 2010.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver last week announced that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has designated 20 Iowa counties as disaster areas, making financial assistance available to agriculture producers in those counties, as well as 32 contiguous counties.

In July, Culver sent a letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting Vilsack's disaster designation as the result of severe storms, excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, hail, high winds and tornadoes that occurred from April 25 to July 18, 2010. The designation was made after assessments on crop and agriculture losses were done throughout the state.

The 20 primary counties in Iowa included in the Secretarial Disaster Designation are Appanoose, Clarke, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Fremont, Guthrie, Humboldt, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Taylor, Van Buren, Wapello, Wayne and Woodbury. The 32 contiguous counties included in the Secretarial Disaster Designation are Adair, Adams, Audubon, Carroll, Cass, Cherokee, Crawford, Dallas, Greene, Hancock, Henry, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Kossuth, Louisa, Madison, Mahaska, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Union, Warren, Washington, Webster and Wright. Additional counties may be added to the Secretarial Disaster Designation.

Secretarial disaster designation makes FSA assistance available

This designation makes farm operators eligible to be considered for certain types of assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. Producers should contact their local FSA office for additional information.

On August 23, 2010 Iowa Gov. Culver requested an additional 11 counties be designated as primary counties: Audubon, Delaware, Dubuque, Hamilton, Henry, Mahaska, Muscatine, Pottawattamie, Story, Warren and Wright. Even though Audubon, Henry, Mahaska, Warren and Wright counties were included in the Secretarial Disaster Designation as contiguous counties, designation as a primary county will offer additional opportunities and could make more contiguous counties eligible for FSA assistance.

Other assistance for agriculture producers is available

Agricultural producers who reside in 32 counties now covered by the Presidential Disaster Declaration may also be eligible to apply for assistance for damage to their primary residence and for other types of agriculture assistance. The 32 counties where residents are eligible to apply for the Individual Assistance Program are Black Hawk, Cherokee, Clayton, Decatur, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Howard, Humboldt, Ida, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Kossuth, Lee, Lucas, Lyon, Mahaska, Marion, O'Brien, Osceola, Polk, Ringgold, Sioux, Story, Taylor, Union, Warren, Webster, and Wright.

The Individual Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals recover from the effects of disaster. Application may be made online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1.800.621.FEMA (3362) or 1.800.462.7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. Toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time). Applicants registering for aid should be prepared to provide basic information about themselves, details on insurance coverage, and any other information to help substantiate losses.

For information on other types of agriculture assistance made available by the Presidential Disaster Declaration, producers may contact their local FSA office.

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