Additional Counties May Be Eligible for Agricultural Disaster Assistance

— Written By Donna Hanusik
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Farmers urged to sign up by the Dec. 10 deadline

RALEIGH – Farmers with damage from Tropical Storm Michael may be eligible for disaster assistance from the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018. The $240 million bill approved today by the N.C. General Assembly would help farmers with storm damage and agricultural losses from both Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael.

The program will directly assist farmers who suffered losses to commodities planted but not harvested before Sept. 13, 2018, and livestock. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will administer the program.

“With only two weeks left in the sign-up period, farmers cannot afford to wait to sign up for assistance,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “The application process takes about 30 minutes per farm and assistance is available through N.C. Cooperative Extension and the NCDA&CS disaster hotline at 1-866-6459403.”

The seven additional counties pending a federal disaster declaration include: Avery, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Watauga, and Yadkin counties. With this addition, 61 of the state’s 100 counties would have received either a primary Presidential or Secretarial-disaster declaration.

“Both Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael had significant impacts to agriculture,” said Troxler. “Without this immediate assistance, it will be difficult for many farmers to continue operations.”

Initial estimates for crop damage and livestock losses to North Carolina’s agriculture industry from Hurricane Florence are estimated at $1.1 billion.

To be eligible for assistance, farmers must sign up online by the Dec. 10 deadline.