MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday, December 10, 2016, officially designated 25 Alabama counties as natural disaster areas as a result of excessive rainfall, wind and flooding that occurred this year. The designation makes farmers in those counties eligible for financial assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency.
In announcing the designation, Governor Robert Bentley said it will provide a much-needed safety net for Alabama’s largest industry.
“Agriculture generates billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs in Alabama,” he said. “As a result of this Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation from USDA, farmers will have additional resources available to assist them in recovering from the excessive rain and flooding we have experienced this year. I appreciate Secretary (of Agriculture) Vilsack for making resources available to those who qualify.”
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.