Help is on the way for drought-stricken farms across the region.
All four Northern Neck counties have received U.S. Department of Agriculture designation as primary disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and related disasters that occurred during the 2012 crop year.
Lancaster, Northumberland, Westmoreland and Richmond counties were among 33 Virginia counties to receive the designation, which makes farm operators in those localities eligible for assistance from the federal Farm Service Agency, provided they meet eligibility requirements. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.
“While I am sorry that so many Virginia counties and cities needed to be designated as disaster areas, I am grateful that the USDA has designated them and offered assistance in the form of low interest loans. Any assistance farmers can get will be appreciated,” said Matthew J. Lohr, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability. For more information, contact the Richmond County Farm Service Agency, which serves all the Northern Neck counties, at (804)333-3525 ext. 2.