Agriculture Secretary Says Federal Disaster Assistance Available for Western, South-Central PA Counties

Jul 21, 2010, 12:40 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Assistance Available for Farmers Who Faced Crop Damage due to Hail, Late-Season Frost in May

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said farmers in western and south-central Pennsylvania may benefit from disaster assistance the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved recently in response to an uncharacteristic late-season frost and hail storm in May.

Affected producers are eligible for Farm Service Agency, or FSA, emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments, or SURE, program.

For FSA emergency loans, producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses to a maximum amount of $500,000 at an annual interest rate of 3.75 percent. Applications for FSA emergency loans must be received within 8 months of the county's disaster designation.

SURE payments are made to eligible farmers who suffer a 10 percent production loss to at least one crop of economic significance on their farm. The payment amount depends on a farm's annual adjusted gross income.

"There's never a good time for farmers to have a natural disaster affect their crops, but it is particularly difficult during a period of slow economic recovery," said Redding. "I encourage all producers who suffered crop damage to contact the Pennsylvania FSA to learn if you are eligible for assistance, and if you have crop insurance, contact your agent to report a loss."

Two disaster designations were declared, making farmers eligible for aid. The first was for late-season frost that occurred from May 8 – 10 and affected the primary counties of Clarion, Venango and Warren. Contiguous counties associated with that loss include Armstrong, Butler, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean and Mercer.

The second designation was for a storm with hail that occurred on May 14 and primarily affected York County. The contiguous counties for this disaster are Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and Lancaster.

For more information about applying for disaster assistance, call the Pennsylvania FSA office at 717-237-1114 or visit  

Media Contact: Justin Fleming, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture