WASHINGTON — The USDA has designated 49 counties in Ohio as primary natural disaster areas due to excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, high winds, excessive heat and tornadoes that occurred from Feb. 2 through July 31.
In addition to the 49 counties that have received the special designation, 38 additional counties have been named as contiguous disaster counties.
According to the USDA, a secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Counties classified under disaster designation: Adams, Allen, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Butler, Champaign, Clinton, Coshocton, Crawford, Fairfield, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hardin, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Medina, Mercer, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Portage, Putman, Sandusky, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren, Washington and Wayne.
Contiguous disaster counties: Ashland, Auglaize, Brown, Carroll, Clark, Clermont, Columbiana, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Fulton, Hancock, Harrison, Henry, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Knox, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Meigs, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Union, Wood and Wyandot.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties or parishes in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:
Indiana: Adams, Dearborn, Jay, Allen, Franklin, Union.
Kentucky: Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Mason, Boyd, Greenup, Lewis.
Michigan: Lenawee, Monroe.
Pennsylvania: Crawford, Erie, Mercer.
West Virginia: Cabell, Ohio, Wayne, Marshall, Pleasants, Wetzel, Mason, Tyler, Wood.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Sept. 7, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.
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