More than half of Michigan counties given disaster designation
The USDA has declared 43 counties across Michigan eligible for emergency assistance after excessive rain, flooding and abnormally cold temperatures from this March and beyond.
Ag Secretary Perdue says the agency has been unable to make a complete and accurate determination of production losses in 17 additional counties as requested by Governor Whitmer and has deferred a decision in those areas for a primary designation.
Farmers in primary counties as well as 31 contiguous counties in Michigan are now able to apply for emergency Farm Service Agency assistance. An additional 13 contiguous counties at the borders of Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin are also eligible for assistance.
Farmers in affected counties have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their losses and are also eligible for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) assistance.
Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Department of Ag Director Gary McDowell both applaud the designation. McDowell says from severe cold to historic rainfall events and early snowfall, 2019 had a devastating impact on the farming and ag community of Michigan.
Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum commends leaders for pushing for this much-needed designation in what he calls an incredibly difficult year of farming marred by record spring rainfall and a late harvest.