Disaster declaration

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Today, Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., received notice from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that counties and parishes in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama are now designated natural disaster areas.

The declaration is the result of losses caused by a freeze that occurred March 25, 2013, through March 29, 2013.

Mississippi counties designated primary natural disaster areas are: Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jones, Lamar, Lauderdale, Leflore, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Perry, Pike, Stone, Walthall and Wayne.

Mississippi counties designated contiguous disaster areas are: Amite, Carroll, Claiborne, Franklin, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Kemper, Lawrence, Neshoba, Newton, Rankin, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower and Tallahatchie.

Contiguous disaster areas in other states:

Alabama counties: Choctaw, Mobile, Sumter and Washington

Louisiana parishes: St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary and contiguous areas eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes low interest FSA emergency loans.

Farmers and ranchers can get more information from their local FSA offices.