USDA agrees to disaster declaration due to farm losses

USDA agrees to disaster declaration due to farm losses Gov. Bill Janklow said Aug. 14 that 64 counties across South Dakota have been designated as disaster areas by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

Janklow had requested the disaster designation because of extreme heat, wind, late frosts, drought and fire conditions that led to significant production losses for agricultural operators.

The designation means family-sized farm operators in the counties can be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency, provided that eligibility requirements are met. Farmers can obtain further information from local FSA offices.

Secretary Veneman designated 52 counties as primary disaster areas. They are Aurora, Beadle, Bennett, BonHomme, Brown, Brule, Buffalo, Butte, Campbell, Charles Mix, Clark, Corson, Davison, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Douglas, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Gregory, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes, Hutchinson, Hyde, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake Lyman, Marshall, McCook, McPherson, Meade, Mellette, Miner, Pennington, Perkins, Potter, Sanborn, Shannon, Spink, Stanley, Sully, Todd, Tripp, Walworth, Yankton and Ziebach.

The secretary also designated 12 other counties as contiguous disaster areas. That designation means producers in those areas are also eligible for the federal assistance because they live in counties next to primary disaster counties. They are Brookings, Clay, Codington, Custer, Grant, Haakon, Jackson, Lawrence, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts and Turner.

Overall, 64 of South Dakota's 66 counties are covered by the disaster designations.

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