USDA issues disaster declaration for multiple AL counties

USDA issues disaster declaration for multiple AL counties

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Eleven Alabama counties are now classified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as qualifying for a natural disaster designation.

The designation, made by Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue, makes farmers in affected counties eligible to receive emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency.

The 11 counties covered by the primary natural disaster designation include Baldwin, Cherokee, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Hale, Marengo, Mobile, Monroe, Talladega, and Washington counties.

Counties deemed to be "contiguous disaster counties" are also eligible and include Bibb, Butler, Calhoun, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Covington, Dallas, Dekalb, Etowah, Greene, Perry, St. Clair, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, and Wilcox counties.

"We depend on our farmers and the crops they produce," Alabama Ag Comm. John McMillan said. "I commend the work by USDA Farm Service Agency employees who completed the damage loss assessments in a timely manner, allowing Secretary Perdue to make the Designation."

Constant rainfall and flooding caused by Tropical Storm Cindy pushed Gov. Kay Ivey to request assistance for Alabama farmers in June.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loans.

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