VILSACK DECLARES DROUGHT DISASTER IN 21 SOUTH ALABAMA COUNTIES
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared a drought disaster in 21 counties in South Alabama, enabling farmers there to apply for low interest federal loans and grants.
"Thanks to Secretary Vilsack and Gov. Robert Bentley for coming to the aid of farmers who suffered significant losses due to this summer's record drought," Commissioner John McMillan said.
On June 30, Bentley requested drought disaster aid as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Drought Monitor reported exceptional drought had developed in much of the southern half of Alabama. Rains have been infrequent throughout much of this region during the past six months.
Eleven counties are in the primary disaster region, including: Baldwin, Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Mobile and Russell.
An additional 10 counties were designated continguous counties, also eligible for drought aid, including: Bullock, Butler, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Lee, Macon, Monroe, Pike and Washington.
Farmers have eight months to qualify for benefits under the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Loan Program and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program. Local FSA offices can provide farmers with additional information and assistance.