USDA grants drought assistance to western Pa., Ohio, W.Va.

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drought corn Farm and Dairy file photo
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — The USDA has designated 14 counties in Pennsylvania, including several in western Pennsylvania, as natural disaster areas with assistance to farmers in Ohio and West Virginia.

Hollis Baker, Farm Service Agency’s acting state executive director in Pennsylvania, requested the designation due to losses caused by a drought that occurred from May 1, 2016, through Dec. 10, 2016.

Those counties are: Adams, Allegheny, Butler, Beaver, Bucks, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Lawrence, Mercer, Northampton, Schuylkill, Snyder and Union.

Farmers in the following contiguous counties are also eligible to seek help: Armstrong, Bedford, Berks, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Dauphin, Huntingdon, Lycoming, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Juniata, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northumberland, Perry, Philadelphia, Venango, Washington, Westmoreland and York.

Farmers in Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia also qualify. In Ohio, farmers in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties are eligible. In West Virginia, Hancock County is also designated

What’s offered

Farmers are eligible for FSA’s low interest emergency loans, and have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Interested farmers should contact a local USDA service center for information on eligibility requirements and application procedures. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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