New federal assistance is available for agricultural producers in Ohio who experienced crop or production loss due to a recent drought. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today designated all of Ohio's 88 counties as disaster areas due to severe heat and excessive drought this year.
"These new resources will provide some relief to farmers and livestock producers dealing with this year's record drought," Brown said. "Although USDA's assistance will help some producers get back on their feet, passing the Senate farm bill reauthorizes critical disaster programs which expired last year and makes much-needed reforms by building on crop insurance and creating a safety net to assist farmers when prices drop or when natural disaster strikes."
With this disaster designation, primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for emergency loans (EM). These loans can help producers if cash flow is low due to losses.
Brown, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation, was critical in passing the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act--or the 2012 farm bill--through the Senate. Brown authored a provision of the farm bill that would strengthen the farm safety net and crop insurance programs. With the current law set to expire on Sept. 30, the U.S. House of Representatives has not yet voted on the farm bill.
Brown is the first Ohioan to serve on both the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. Agriculture is still Ohio's largest industry.