Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Rick Pate announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 Alabama counties as primary disaster areas, due to damage and losses caused by Hurricane Zeta Oct. 28–29.
USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation. In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas of Alabama and adjacent states also have been named as contiguous disaster counties.
Primary Disaster Designation Areas (13 counties): Autauga, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Dallas, Elmore, Lowndes, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Washington and Wilcox
Contiguous Counties in Alabama (19): Baldwin, Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Cleburne, Conecuh, Coosa, Crenshaw, DeKalb, Escambia, Etowah, Greene, Hale, Macon, Montgomery, Shelby, Perry, Sumter and Tallapoosa
A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm and the security and repayment ability of the operator.
Contact your local county FSA office for further information. Find your county office by visiting offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.
Source: Alabama Agribusiness Council
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