Drought aid available

Published 11:04 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Farmers in all four Roanoke-Chowan area counties are eligible for federal assistance on the heels of last year’s drought.

On Monday of this week, USDA Secretary Vilsack declared a natural disaster in the State of North Carolina based on losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

As a result of this natural disaster, 37 North Carolina counties were declared eligible for Federal disaster assistance, including Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency (EM) loans for eligible family farmers. Gates and Hertford counties were included among the primary disaster counties.

Additionally, 23 other counties are named as contiguous counties where eligible family farmers may qualify for FSA EM loan assistance, in accordance with Section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Bertie and Northampton counties are on that list.

Regional FSA Director Michelle Hurdle-Winslow said that effective Feb. 6, farmers in Gates, Hertford, Bertie and Northampton counties along with those in Camden, Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties may apply for EM loans for production losses.

Winslow said that Oct. 9, 2012 is the deadline for filing an application.

Her office is located at 512 S. Church Street, Hertford, and has office hours of 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Winslow said that any farmer who suffered a physical and production loss should contact her office at 252-426-5802 for additional information.