Bredesen Request Granted for Federal Farm Assistance
NASHVILLE - Governor Phil Bredesen today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved his request for federal farm assistance for four Middle Tennessee counties due to heavy rains and extensive flooding that occurred in May. Counties designated a natural disaster for agriculture include Bedford, Hickman, Moore and Perry.
"This designation will be important for helping farmers in these areas mitigate their losses stemming from some of the heavy rains that were experienced early in the growing season," said Bredesen. "I'm pleased that USDA recognizes the difficulties these farmers are facing and has acted so promptly to this request."
Lewis County was requested but not approved as a primary natural disaster county because of insufficient losses according to USDA. However, as a contiguous natural disaster county, farmers in Lewis County are eligible to apply for USDA Farm Service Agency loan assistance.
Other contiguous qualifying counties include Benton, Coffee, Decatur, Dickson, Franklin, Humphreys, Lincoln, Marshall, Maury, Rutherford, Wayne and Williamson.
Bredesen made the request on June 3 to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. A primary natural disaster designation makes farmers eligible to apply for assistance through their local Farm Service Agency. Qualifying farmers are eligible to be considered for emergency loans, livestock assistance and supplemental farm payments as provided by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008.
Farmers in these areas suffered crop losses reported in excess of 30 percent, including hay and pastures. Farmers also reported significant damage to farm equipment and structures.
For a weekly report on crop conditions across the state, visit www.nass.usda.gov/tn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture makes this report available each Monday at 3 p.m. CDT, April through November.
Source: Government of Tennessee
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