Producers in nearly 13-hundred counties in 29 states are now eligible for disaster assistance. With the designation of 39 additional counties in eight states as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by drought and excessive heat – the total designated by USDA during the 2012 crop year now stands at 1,297. All qualified farm operators in these areas are eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that 61-percent of the continental U.S. is now in a moderate to exceptional drought. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he and the President are committed to ensuring agriculture remains a bright spot in the nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities through these difficult times.
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