DeSoto and Marshall counties are included in a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster declaration that primarily affects adjoining counties of Tennessee, according to a spokesman for U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi).
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue informed Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday of his decision to move forward with the declaration. Tennessee officials in April requested the designation for nine counties due to losses caused by spring rains and flooding between Aug. 1 of last year and March 5 of this year.
USDA reviewed the state’s loss assessment report and determined their were sufficient production losses to warrant a disaster declaration.
The action allows farm operators in those counties and adjacent counties to be eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency. The help includes emergency loans.
Farmers will have eight months to make application for the federal assistance. Local FSA offices will have specific information about what is available.
DeSoto and Marshall counties are eligible because of their adjacent location to Shelby County, Tennessee, as one of the Tennessee counties included in the disaster declaration.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.