WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today issued the following statement after Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack issued a disaster declaration to assist Iowa farmers who have suffered losses from the ongoing drought impacting the Midwest. The counties identified in these declarations have experienced a drought intensity value of at least severe for eight or more consecutive weeks, with some counties experiencing extreme drought conditions at some point. Harkin is a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.
“The Department of Agriculture, under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, has continued to aid farmers across the Midwest and throughout Iowa, who are still suffering as a result of the ongoing drought,” said Harkin. “With this announcement, farmers in eligible counties may apply and qualify for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans through the USDA Farm Service Agency. I welcome these actions and applaud USDA for responding.”
The agricultural disaster designations issued today benefit producers in the counties of Allamakee, Chickasaw, Decatur, Dickinson, Howard, Mitchell, Ringgold and Winneshiek. Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Adams, Bremer, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Emmet, Fayette, Floyd, Lucas, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Taylor, Union, Wayne and Worth.
All other eligible counties in Iowa have already been designated as primary natural disaster counties.
Producers in both primary and contiguous counties should contact their local FSA offices for additional information. Farmers who seek to graze or harvest forage from Conservation Reserve Program acres should check with their local FSA office as well.