Cold Weather Creates Natural Disaster Areas Throughout Florida
CLEWISTON, FL. -- Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 34 counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to frosts and freezes during this winter season and drought over the last six months. The USDA has designated an additional 28 counties in Florida as contiguous natural disaster areas.
As a result of this designation, farm operators in both primary counties and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program.
Counties designated as primary natural disaster areas due to frosts and freezes during the period between November 5 and December 17, 2010, include Alachua, Bradford, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, De Soto, Dixie, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dad, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, St. Johns and St. Lucie. Contiguous counties include Baker, Brevard, Broward, Citrus, Columbia, Duval, Hillsborough, Lafayette, Lake, Marion, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Volusia.
Farmers in these designated counties have eight months from today to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA considers the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability with each application. SURE Program applications for 2010 crop losses will be accepted in 2011, when the 2010 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.