Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack this morning designated an additional 218 counties in 12 states as primary natural disaster areas because of damages caused by the drought and excessive heat. More than half of all counties in the U.S. right now are designated as disaster areas due to the drought. In addition, the Secretary announced that he’s allowing more emergency haying and grazing on CRP lands. And, he says, crop insurance companies have agreed to give farm families a grace period of an extra 30 days to make payments during which time they won’t be charged interest penalties on unpaid premiums.
The counties are in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and South Dakota as well as Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wyoming.