Bentley declares Pike County a natural disaster designation

Published 2:00 am Friday, December 11, 2015

Pike is among 25 counties approved for agriculture disaster assistance, according to Gov. Robert Bentley.

The governor announced Thursday that 25 counties have been approved for a Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation from the United States Department of Agriculture. The designation means that farmers in those counties are eligible to be considered for assistance through the USDA-Farm Service Agency.

The designation was prompted by excessive rainfall, wind and flooding that occurred this year. The severe weather caused extensive damage to many crops during the 2015 growing season.

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U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack designated 13 counties as primary natural disaster areas and 12 contiguous counties were added in accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

“The natural disaster declaration request … will allow producers to be considered for certain assistance by USDA-FSA, provided certain eligibility requirements are met,” said Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture John McMillan.

The 25 counties covered by the natural disaster designation are: Baldwin, Barbour, Butler, Bullock, Chambers, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Elmore, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Tallapoosa and Wilcox.

The assistance available to farmers in those 25 counties includes FSA emergency loans.  Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months to apply for emergency loans. The applications will be evaluated individually based on direct production losses.