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Harkin Welcomes USDA Disaster Declaration for Cerro Gordo, other Counties

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) last week issued the following statement after learning that Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack had issued a disaster declaration to assist Iowa farmers who have suffered losses from the ongoing drought impacting the Midwest.   The counties identified in this declaration 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 ongoing drought continues to inflict hardship on farmers in Iowa and across the Midwest,” said Harkin.  “With today’s announcement, farmers in eligible counties may apply and qualify for low-interest loans and other disaster assistance through the USDA Farm Service Agency.  I welcome today’s actions and thank Secretary Vilsack for responding to our severe drought problems in Iowa.”

The agricultural disaster designations issued today benefits producers in the counties of Adair, Adams, Audubon, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dallas, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Guthrie, Hancock, Harrison, Humboldt, Ida, Louisa, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, O’Brien, Osceola, Page, Pocahontas, Pottawattamie, Sac, Shelby, Washington, Webster and Wright.

Benefits are also available for the contiguous counties of Boone, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Des Moines, Dickinson, Emmet, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Henry, Howard, Iowa, Jefferson, Johnson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, Mitchell, Muscatine, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Polk, Ringgold, Sioux, Taylor, Union, Warren, Winnebago, Woodbury, and Worth.

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 – including expanded acreage such as wetlands and waterways announced today — should check with their local FSA office as well.

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