An emergency disaster designation request submitted by Gov. Matt Bevin in support of Kentucky farmers has been approved by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue. The Secretarial disaster designation allows farmers impacted by heavy rains and flooding to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Nicholas, Bourbon, Clark, and Powell counties received designations as “primary natural disaster areas,” with an additional 12 counties designated as “contiguous disaster counties” in accordance with Section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. All 16 counties are eligible to receive assistance from the FSA.
“We are grateful to the USDA and to Secretary Perdue for his approval of our disaster designation request,” said Gov. Bevin. “Farm families in Kentucky are essential to the economic success of our individual communities and to our state as a whole. This disaster designation will provide our affected farmers with vital resources and assistance following severe weather earlier this year.”
Gov. Bevin submitted the request to the USDA in October following months of heavy rains and severe weather in the Commonwealth, resulting in flooding and wind damage in many Kentucky counties. These weather events adversely impacted the yield and quality of crops for farmers across the state and resulted in damage to buildings, fences, equipment and farming infrastructure.
“There’s no question that the weather this year has negatively affected farming,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “On behalf of our agricultural producers, I would like to thank Secretary Perdue for opening up additional assistance for our farmers. I know USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Kentucky stands ready to assist them.”
Farmers in the eligible counties will have eight months to apply for assistance from the FSA and should contact their local FSA office for additional information.
“The Kentucky agriculture community is thankful for Gov. Bevin’s request and for Secretary Perdue’s disaster designation,” said Warren Beeler, executive director for the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “This has been an extremely wet and stormy year, damaging crops and infrastructure that resulted in discounted grain at harvest time. This assistance is much appreciated in a year with already depressed market prices.”
Additional information regarding USDA disaster assistance programs is available at: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/.