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Federal help available to local farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – United States Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) announced last week that 12 North Carolina counties that experienced major crop losses due to drought and heat in 2010 have received agricultural disaster designations.

Three of the 12 counties are in the Roanoke-Chowan area – Gates, Hertford and Northampton. Others receiving disaster designations from the Department of Agriculture were Granville, Vance, Warren, Camden, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, Caswell and Person. These counties are now eligible for federal assistance through the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Tobacco was one of the Roanoke-Chowan area crops affected by this year’s drought and excessive heat.

“Federal aid is now available to North Carolina farmers and producers who suffered significant crop losses this year,” Senator Hagan said. “In this already difficult economy, this aid will help ensure that North Carolina farmers affected by excessive drought and heat can continue to farm into the future. I will continue working to support North Carolina’s agricultural community in the U.S. Senate.”

Farm operators in these counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.

Those local offices are in Gatesville (104 New Road; 357-0290), Winton (307 West Tryon Street; 358-7842), and Jackson (Faison Administration Building, NC 305 North; 534-5331).