farm

CORY BYKNISH | Herald

Full-grown corn fills a field in New Wilmington. Many area farmers weren't so lucky, as wet weather this year caused stunted corn or kept crops from being planted at all. Now federal disaster aid is available to them.

Farmers in Beaver, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, and Mercer counties are eligible to receive disaster relief assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said Tuesday.

He said the unpredictability and severity of the wet spring proved to be  a challenge for western Pennsylvania farmers.

“If the wet weather this year put a damper on your growing season, I encourage you to check with your local Farm Service Agency team to see how they can help,” Redding said. 

The USDA announced a primary agricultural disaster designation for counties in Ohio. Under this disaster designation, producers in contiguous counties in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia also qualify for benefits. Beaver, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, and Mercer counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas due to the significant production losses caused by excessive rain and flooding from Jan. 1 through Aug. 20.

Eligible farmers may apply for loans for up to eight months after a Secretarial disaster declaration and should contact their local Farm Service Agency office for assistance. More information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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