Freezes and flood events have resulted in six Florida counties being designated as primary natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making them eligible for assistance.
Our hearts go out to those Florida farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nations economy by sustaining the successes of Americas farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. Were also telling Florida producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.
Designation No. 1
The USDA designated Flagler, PutnamandSt. Johnscounties as primary natural disaster areas due to freezes and frosts that occurred Feb. 17 to March 4.
Farmers and ranchers in Alachua, Clay, Duval, Marion and Volusia counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Designation No. 2
The USDA has designated HolmesandWashingtoncounties as primary natural disaster areas due to frosts, excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding and high winds that occurred Feb. 4 to March 4.
Farmers and ranchers in Bay, Jackson and Walton counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Designation No. 3
The USDA has designated Palm Beach Countyas a primary natural disaster area due to freezes, frosts and high winds that occurred March 3-4.
Farmers and ranchers in Broward, Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
All counties were designated natural disaster areas on April 3, making all qualified farm operators eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDAs Farm Service Agency. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.