Additional Ohio counties eligible for emergency aid through USDA

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WASHINGTON – In a continued effort to expedite emergency disaster declarations in areas hit hard by adverse weather conditions, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced Sept. 27 that additional counties in Kansas, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming are agricultural disaster areas.

Ohio counties eligible. In response to frost, freeze, hail and a tornado that occurred from March 1 through May 31, 2002, the following counties in Ohio have been declared primary disaster areas: Auglaize, Fairfield, Morgan, Muskingum, Perry, Portage, Ross, Summit and Wood.

Contiguous counties are Allen, Athens, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Fayette, Franklin, Geauga, Guernsey, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Licking, Logan, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Mercer, Noble, Ottawa, Pickaway, Pike, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Trumbull, Van Wert, Vinton, Washington and Wayne.

Twenty-two counties were previously designated with disaster status: Ashland, Ashtabula, Brown, Carroll, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Fulton, Geauga, Hancock, Holmes, Knox, Lake, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Tuscarawas, Wayne, Wood and Wyandot.

Livestock compensation. This designation makes all qualified farm operators in primary and contiguous disaster counties eligible for low-interest loans from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for the loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

USDA has a variety of programs available in addition to the loan program to help eligible farmers recover from adversity, including the recently announced $752 million Livestock Compensation Program. However, only the primary drought designated disaster counties are eligible for the Livestock Compensation Program, not contiguous counties, and not counties designated a disaster for reasons other than drought.

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