The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated four Tennessee counties as primary natural disaster areas after extensive flooding in May destroyed crops and farm equipment.
Farmers in Bedford, Hickman, Moore and Perry counties are eligible to receive disaster assistance, including low interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
"This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to a wide variety of crops including corn, wheat and forage," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Farmers in contiguous counties not designated primary disaster areas can apply for disaster assistance, USDA said.
Many Tennessee farmers suffered crop losses in excess of 30 percent and reported significant damage to farm equipment and structures after heavy rains, wind storms and flooding.
USDA has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers should contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures or visit disasterassistance.gov.