WASHINGTON, D.C. – New federal assistance is available for 24 counties of Ohio agricultural producers who experienced crop or production loss due to a recent drought. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Butler, Defiance, Fulton, Hamilton, Henry, Paulding, Preble, Putnam and Van Wert Counties as primary natural disaster counties due to severe and excessive drought for eight or more consecutive weeks during the growing season. The USDA has also designated Allen, Auglaize, Clermont, Darke, Hancock, Lucas, Mercer, Montgomery, Warren, Williams and Wood Counties as contiguous disaster counties.
“Ohio producers whose livelihoods are threatened by no fault of their own rely on the FSA’s emergency loan programs and a strong farms safety net so they can manage risk on their farms and continue to provide a reliable food supply for Ohio and the world.” said Brown. “The USDA disaster designation for these 24 counties provides important access to USDA assistance for Ohioans in Agriculture, but what farmers need most is the certainty that only a five-year farm bill can provide.”
With this disaster designation, primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) for emergency loans (EM). These loans can help producers if cash flow is low due to losses.
The following counties in Ohio: Butler, Darke, Hamilton, Mercer, Preble, Van Wert, Adams, Brown, Clermont, Hamilton, Lawrence, and Scioto, have also been designated as contiguous disaster counties under separate disaster designations for the states of Indiana and Kentucky.
Brown applauded USDA Sec. Vilsack’s decision this week to purchase meat from livestock producers impacted by drought for federal nutrition assistance programs and food banks. Brown also renewed his call for the U.S. House of Representatives to schedule a vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan, five-year farm bill—which is set to expire on Sep. 30—that provides critical assistance to farmers affected by drought. Earlier this month, Brown visited with farmers at the Ohio State Fair to discuss how the Senate-passed farm bill contains critical risk management and disaster response provisions for Ohio’s farmers and agricultural producers.