Delegation Announces Approval of Agricultural Disaster Designation for RIchland and Sargent Counties

Washington - Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg today applauded the decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve a disaster declaration for Richland and Sargent Counties in North Dakota.   The declaration allows impacted producers to be considered for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans (EM) and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE). 

"This is welcome news for producers in Richland and Sargent Counties. Disaster assistance will now be available to help them recover from this year's production and physical losses," the delegation said in a joint statement. "However, family farmers across the state were hit hard by severe weather this year and we will continue to push to get those impacted producers the assistance they need." 

In a letter to the congressional delegation, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack notes that farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. SURE Program applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in 2012, when the 2011 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available. 

Senator Conrad was the architect of the SURE Program and developed it as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. 

The delegation is encouraging eligible producers who suffered losses this year to visit their local Farm Service Agency for additional details on agricultural disaster assistance.

Today's disaster declaration was designated for several South Dakota counties. Benefits are also available for contiguous counties in North Dakota. In this case, Richland and Sargent.  Agricultural disaster declarations for additional North Dakota counties are expected in the coming weeks.