Gov. Rounds requests assistance for Clay County On Monday, Aug. 1, Gov. Mike Rounds requested that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Mike Johanns declare four South Dakota counties secretarial natural disaster areas.
According to Gov. Rounds� letter to Secretary Johanns, Bon Homme, Clay, Lincoln and Turner counties have submitted County Disaster Resolutions and Flash Situation Reports reflecting soybean, corn and alfalfa production losses varying from 30 to 100 percent.
�So far in 2005, farmers and ranchers have experienced a wide array of extreme conditions, even by South Dakota standards,� Rounds wrote. �These conditions have left farmers with reduced incomes, which not only brings economic hardships to the affected farmers, but also to those businesses that depend on farmers and ranchers for their livelihood.�
If Secretary Johanns grants the four counties Secretarial Designations, farmers and ranchers in the affected counties will be eligible for low interest loans and income deferral on the sale of livestock.
�I�m concerned the agricultural producers in these counties may not be able to continue their family farming operations next year is assistance is not provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,� Rounds said.