Gov. Bev Perdue has received from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack a disaster declaration for 35 counties to help farmers recover from the devastating tornadoes and hurricanes of 2011.
The secretarial disaster designation enables farmers in primary and contiguous counties to apply for federal financial assistance through low-interest Farm Service Assistance loans and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) disaster assistance program.
"We have never stopped working aggressively to secure as much aid as possible for our fellow North Carolinians who suffered damage during these storms,"Perdue said. "We owe it to them to do everything we can to help them recover from these devastating losses and be ready for this year's growing season."
Farmers in designated counties have until September 10, 2012 to apply for disaster assistance to cover crop losses.
Counties under the agricultural disaster declaration include:
Beaufort, Bertie, Camden, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Greene, Halifax, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Pitt, Sampson, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne and Wilson.
Agricultural entities in Bladen, Brunswick, Chatham, Durham, Gates, Granville, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Perquimans, Robeson, Sampson, Wake and Wilson counties may be eligible for Farm Service Assistance loans.
Farmers can apply for assistance through the USDA-Farm Service Agency office for North Carolina. The phone number for the USDA-FSA office is 919-875-4800.