Virtually all of Georgia and parts of five neighboring states are involved in the latest USDA declaration of a primary natural disaster area. 98 counties in Georgia have been declared to be in the primary natural disaster area. 58 additional counties in Georgia, 8 in Alabama, 8 in Florida, 2 in North Carolina, 9 in South Carolina and 3 in Tennessee also qualify for federal relief because they are contiguous counties to the primary disaster area.
This declaration is based on excessive rainfall that occurred from September 2009 and continuing. During that period there have been losses to field crops such as corn, cotton, millet, peanuts, sorghum, soybeans, pasture and forage, as well as fruit, vegetable, and nut crops, such as beans, collard and turnip greens, cowpeas, pecans, peppers, pumpkins, squash, strawberries, tomatoes, and nursery crops.
All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are now eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Affected farmers have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.