A request by Gov. Jay Nixon for a disaster declaration for 23 counties hit by heavy rain and flooding since May 1 was granted today by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The declaration paves the way for farmers in those counties, and 26 contiguous counties, to seek financial assistance from the USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) for their losses to the severe weather. The Governor asked for the disaster declaration from the rain and flooding for the 23 counties on Aug. 19.
"In a year when Missouri farmers have taken several hard hits because of the weather, this disaster declaration will enable farmers in these counties severely impacted by heavy rain and flooding to obtain help," Gov. Nixon said.
The Secretary designated all 23 counties requested by Gov. Nixon as primary natural disaster areas: Andrew, Atchison, Boone, Buchanan, Callaway, Carroll, Clark, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Franklin, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Lafayette, Lewis, Moniteau, Montgomery, Platte, Ray, Saline, St. Louis and Warren.
In addition, farmers in another 26 contiguous counties also will be eligible to seek federal assistance: Audrain, Caldwell, Cass, Chariton, Clinton, Crawford, DeKalb, Gasconade, Gentry, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lincoln, Livingston, Marion, Miller, Morgan, Nodaway, Osage, Pettis, Pike, Randolph, Scotland, Shelby, St. Charles and Washington. The City of St. Louis also is included in this eligibility.
Farmers in these counties who qualify would receive FSA emergency loans or assistance from the federal Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program. Affected farmers would apply to the FSA, which considers each application individually on its own merits.
On Sept. 15, Gov. Nixon filed a different request with the USDA, asking for a disaster declaration for 101 Missouri counties because of agricultural losses due to excessive heat and severe drought this summer. That request is still pending.