U.S. Ag Secretary approves disaster designation for 47 N.D. counties

State News

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Purdue has approved Governor Burgum’s request for a secretarial disaster designation for 47 of North Dakota’s 53 counties.

The move means federal assistance will be available to farmers and ranchers struggling with the impacts of an early winter blizzard and an extremely wet fall.

Burgum submitted the request to Perdue last Friday.

“We deeply appreciate Secretary Perdue’s quick response to our request, because help can’t come soon enough for our farmers and ranchers facing one of the most difficult and stressful seasons on record,” Burgum said. “We continue to explore every available avenue to make sure our ag producers have the resources and tools they need to cope with these unprecedented wet conditions that are delaying the harvest and hurting our livestock producers. We’re extremely grateful to the state, federal and local officials and all the agencies that helped prepare the disaster request.”

A secretarial disaster designation allows the implementation of FSA’s Emergency Farm Loan Program and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Loan Program for farm-related business.

The Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program+ (WHIP+) is also available to eligible producers in presidential disaster-declared and secretarial-designated primary counties for 2018 and 2019 qualifying disaster events, which are flooding, snowstorm, tornado and wildfire in North Dakota.  

Of the 47 counties included in the designation, 45 have experienced a minimum 30 percent production loss of at least one crop due to natural disaster, and the other two are eligible for the designation because of the inability to secure commercial financing to cover losses.

Today’s announcement was made as U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey was in North Dakota to see and hear about the challenges facing the state’s farmers and ranchers.

Individuals affected by flooding and adverse conditions can find information on other farm and ranch assistance at www.NDResponse.gov.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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