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Bredesen Announces Federal Farm Assistance for 28 Additional Counties

Governor Phil Bredesen has announced that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has designated 28 additional counties a natural disaster for agriculture as a result of drought and excessive heat during the growing season. Bredesen requested the Secretarial designation last month.

Counties designated as primary natural disaster areas include Bedford, Bradley, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Dyer, Fayette, Hamilton, Henry, Hickman, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Moore, Perry, Polk, Rhea, Rutherford, Sequatchie, Sevier, Sullivan, Tipton, Unicoi, Union, Washington and Williamson.

"This has been an unusual growing season for farmers who have had to endure the extremes of flooding and drought," said Bredesen. "I'm pleased that farmers in these areas have an opportunity to apply for federal assistance to help them better prepare for next year."

So far this year, a total of 42 Tennessee counties have been designated a primary natural disaster due to drought during the growing season. The Secretarial disaster designation makes farmers in primary and adjoining counties eligible to apply for low-interest loans, supplemental farm payments and other assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency.

Adjoining counties where farmers are also eligible for assistance include Anderson, Benton, Bledsoe, Blount, Campbell, Cannon, Carroll, Cheatham, Coffee, Crockett, Cumberland, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hancock, Hardeman, Hawkins, Haywood, Humphreys, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, Maury, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Obion, Roane, Shelby, Stewart, Van Buren, Warren, Wayne, Weakley and Wilson

Farmers in affected counties have reported crop losses generally ranging from 30 to 50 percent, and higher in some cases, for corn, soybeans, cotton, hay and specialty crops. Livestock producers also reported feeding winter stocks of hay earlier than normal this year.

For the latest information on this year's crop harvest, visit the USDA-NASS Tennessee Field Office website at www.nass.usda.gov/tn.

Published December 12, 2010

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