Help could be on way for ag flood victims

Published 7:44 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some federal assistance may be available to farmers in Escambia County, according to a press release from the Office of Gov. Robert Bentley.

According to the press release, 50 Alabama counties are under a Secretarial National Disaster Designation from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), making farmers in those counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA-Farm Service Agency.

This designation was prompted because rains and flooding caused excessive damage to many crops during the 2013 growing season.

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Although Escambia is not included among those 50 counties, it is one of 16 counties that qualify as “contiguous disaster counties.” Farmers in those counties, including Escambia, are allowed to apply for assistance as well. The applications will be evaluated individually, based on direct production losses.

Farmers in eligible counties have until June 18, 2014, to apply for emergency loans.

“We all depend on our farmers and the crops they produce,” Bentley said. “I appreciate (the USDA) for recognizing the losses in counties across Alabama and for making assistance available to those who qualify.”

For more information, contact the Escambia County Farm Service Agency service center office at (251) 867-3185. The office is located at 175 Ag Science Drive in Brewton.