FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USDA Designates 23 Arkansas Counties Disasters Following Severe Flooding
Loss Assessment Reports Determine ‘Sufficient Production Losses’
LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 23 Arkansas counties disasters in the wake of spring flooding, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Friday. This designation is separate from the Presidential Disaster Declaration, which the Governor has requested. FEMA is still assessing the damage before a Presidential Disaster Declaration can be made.
Governor Hutchinson learned of the Secretarial natural disaster designation in a letter from Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“The USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation,” Secretary Perdue said. “Therefore, I am designating … 23 counties … as primary natural disaster areas.”
Secretary Perdue visited Arkansas in early May. “I want to thank Secretary Perdue and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for granting my request to declare 23 Arkansas counties as disaster areas,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The secretary saw firsthand the damage our state suffered due to flooding, including the destruction of thousands of acres of cropland. The disaster declaration will give our farmers access to emergency loans that will help them get back on their feet after last month’s devastating storms.”
In addition to the 23 counties declared primary natural disaster areas, Secretary Perdue also designated 23 Arkansas counties as contiguous disaster areas. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (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.
A Secretarial disaster designation qualifies farm operators in primary counties and in contiguous counties to be considered for certain assistance from FSA provided they meet eligibility requirements. For more information on FSA Disaster Assistance Programs, click HERE, or contact local FSA offices, which can provide affected farmers with further information.
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