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R-C farmers may qualify for aid

Farmers in the Roanoke-Chowan area may qualify emergency loan assistance based upon extreme drought and higher than normal temperatures that occurred this past summer.

In a press release issued Jan. 11, a local Farm Service Agency official said that farmers in 11 North Carolina counties were eligible for emergency loans.

Locally, farmers in Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties are eligible for such loans because they are “contiguous with Virginia counties that were part of a federally declared disaster.”

On Dec. 27, 2005, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns declared a disaster in 38 Virginia counties caused by extreme drought and higher than normal temperatures that occurred from June 1, 2005 and continued well into the summer.

In accordance with Section 321 (a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CFRDA), adjacent counties are included in a federally declared disaster area. Thus, eligible family farmers may qualify for emergency loan assistance.

Other North Carolina counties deemed contiguous to the disaster area are Caswell, Granville, Person, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Vance and Warren.

Effective Dec. 27, loans may be made available to farmers in these counties who qualify due to production losses. Those losses must fall under the provisions of the CFRDA.

Local farmers wishing to make an application have until Aug. 28 to do so.

Local Farm Service Agency offices are located in Jackson (Faison Administration Building; 534-5331, Ext. 2) and in Winton (305 West Tryon Street, 358-7842).

Gates County farmers wishing to make an application are asked to contact the Farm Service Agency office in Perquimans County (512 South Church Street in Hertford, 426-5802, ext. 2).