USDA designates six Georgia counties as primary disaster areas
On Feb. 9, the USDA designated six Georgia counties as primary natural disaster areas due to excessive rain during 2021.
This Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Colquitt County was named a primary disaster area for excessive rain between Jan. 1, 2021, and Nov. 30, 2021. Producers in contiguous counties Brooks Cook, Mitchell, Thomas, Tift and Worth are also eligible for FSA emergency loans.
Brantley, Charlton and Pierce counties were named primary disaster areas for excessive rain between June. 1, 2021 and Nov. 17, 2021. Producers in contiguous counties Appling, Camden, Ware, Bacon, Glynn and Wayne are also eligible for FSA emergency loans.
Berrien and Cook counties were named primary disaster areas for excessive rain between June 3, 2021, and Dec. 9, 2021. Producers in contiguous counties Atkinson, Coffee, Irwin, Lowndes, Brooks, Colquitt, Lanier and Tift are also eligible for FSA emergency loans.
The application deadline for producers in these primary and contiguous counties is Oct. 3.
According to UGA Extension Peanut Specialist Scott Montfort, peanut growers in Southwest Georgia experienced lower yields in 2021 due to excess rain and cooler temperatures.
“Southwest Georgia received more rain from July through October,” Montford said. “East and Central Georgia fared better because it had some dry spells throughout the growing season. Statewide we had cool weather in April and cooler than normal temperatures for much of May. Temperatures were close to average in June followed by one of the coolest Julys that we’ve had in a long time. A hot August was followed by below average temps in September then a warm October. The temp units didn’t drive this crop as they usually do. That’s one reason this crop didn’t fill out like it usually does.”
On www.farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Assistance-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact your local USDA Service Center.