From staff and wire reports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has deemed parts of Ohio, including Medina County, eligible for disaster assistance because of drought conditions that began in February.
A USDA disaster designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.
John Fitzpatrick, director of the Medina County Farm Bureau, said Thursday that some factors include proof of the amount of crop losses and whether farmers have insured crops.
“Farmers will have to show they’ve had tremendously diminished yields, but I’m not sure on specific amounts,” Fitzpatrick said. “They’ll also have to show what relief they can get from crop insurance they’ve purchased.”
Farmers in eligible Ohio counties have eight months from the date of the disaster designation to apply for emergency loan assistance.
The agency will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability.
Nationwide, this year’s drought is the most severe since 1988, officials have said. Gov. John Kasich made a request to the Agriculture Department for assistance earlier this summer. The office of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, announced the USDA’s decision this week in a news release.
“There can be no doubt farmers in the 16th District have been struggling to cope with the persistent drought conditions we have faced this year,” Renacci said in a prepared statement. “We have been hit especially hard in Ashland, Wayne, Medina, and Stark counties — all of which are covered by this designation.”
For more information, call (330) 722-2628.
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