North Carolina farmers affected by Hurricane Irene last August and by tornadoes in April can now get more help from the federal government with more loan options and payment to recover from crop losses.
State elected officials announced Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack declared 34 eastern counties disaster areas. The designation means farms in those counties and surrounding counties that perhaps didn't qualify for previous disaster loans can seek them under another progra. The can also apply for direct payments to help with significant crop losses.
State officials have said crop, forestry and agricultural equipment losses during Hurricane Irene could exceed $500 million.
Governor Beverly Perdue's office said this and other potential federal funding will affect what type of aid the state may provide to farmers.