Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Disaster Declaration Requested For Putnam County

Putnam County is one of half a dozen counties in Tennessee that the governor is seeking to have declared natural disaster areas because of the weather -- not this week, but last fall. Governor Phil Bredesen made the request this week in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The seven counties requested include: Putnam, Fentress, Giles, Madison, Morgan, Van Buren and White. A disaster designation would make farmers in these and adjoining counties eligible to apply for assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency. Qualifying farmers are eligible for emergency loans and supplemental farm payments as provided by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008. Farmers in these counties have reported crop losses ranging from 30 to 50 percent for major commodities including corn, soybeans, cotton, tobacco and some specialty crops. Some counties reported receiving record rainfall of in excess of 12 inches during what are normally the driest months of the year.