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The US Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency is declaring several counties in Southeastern Ohio as natural disaster areas for 2010.
It means that disaster weather events, such as the late frost in May, the flooding in late May-early June-and summer's heat and drought have greatly affected farmers. It also means at least one crop yielded a 30% loss.
This declaration will allow farmers to get a necessary emergency loan.
"They can pay off their line of credit. Hopefully, that will allow them to get credit for next year. Then they get seven years to pay that debt off," says Muskingum and Morgan County's Farm Service Agency Executive Director, William Huston.
It also makes every farmer in the designated county eligible for the sure program, which is the new disaster program, but farmers will not see that money until October or November of next year.
"We don't know what the corn actual revenue will be until September of 2011 because a lot of people store their grain and sell it ot store their grain and feed it. So, it takes a while to determine what the true value of 2010's crop is," says Huston.
Huston says farming is a risk because it relies on the weather but can't control it. Plus, it's similar to a manufacturing company. Farmers pay all their input costs beforehand, wait until the product develops, sell it, and then have to use that money to pay off all the input costs. Huston says it can be a huge financial strain. He's expecting a reported loss of about $3 million in Muskingum and Morgan counties.
To report a loss in either of these counties, contact 740-454-2824.