33 Virginia counties have been designated as "primary disaster areas" by the USDA. These counties have lost a significant number of crops due to drought and June's derecho storm. That means farmers can apply for federal assistance in the form of low-interest loans.
"This is the soonest we've ever seen a designation," said Chesterfield Cooperative Extension Director Mike Likins. "That means farmers can get that money faster."
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. Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with more information.
The full list of counties include Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Caroline, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Essex, Gloucester, Greene, Hanover, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Sussex and Westmoreland.
Additional areas of Virginia were named as contiguous disaster counties, meaning they border a county or city named as a primary disaster area. Those designations include the counties of Albemarle, Amherst, Botetourt, Brunswick, Campbell, Charles City, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Franklin, Goochland, Greensville, Halifax, Henrico, Henry, James City, Louisa, Mecklenburg, Nelson, New Kent, Page, Prince George, Prince William, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Southampton, Surry and York and the independent cities of Bedford, Colonial Heights, Danville, Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Lynchburg, Petersburg and Richmond.
However, Albemarle, Nelson and Page counties previously received primary disaster designations due to the derecho storm of late June/early July.
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