ATLANTA - Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Monday that U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated 151 Georgia counties as primary disaster areas.
The declaration is a result of drought and excessive heat from July 1 to the present, according to the governor's office. The designation was requested by Perdue.
Farmers in the disaster counties sustained at least a 30 percent production loss to a single enterprise due to the drought conditions, according to USDA Damage Assessment Reports. The designation allows farmers to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
These eight counties are eligible for assistance in accordance with section 321 (a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act: Camden, Glynn, Jasper, Morgan, Clayton, Greene, McIntosh and Newton.
Under the designation, farm operators in both primary and contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program, according to the governor's office. Farmers in qualified counties have until July 26, 2011 to apply for emergency loan assistance.