Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Mercer a natural disaster area
Local farmers have until Sept. 5 to apply for aid from USDA
By Nancy Allen
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has declared Mercer County a primary natural disaster area due to 2016's drought.
Loss assessment reports were reviewed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which determined that production losses were sufficient to warrant the natural disaster declaration, a news release from acting Mercer County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Michael Baucher says.
The declaration is due to damage and losses caused by a drought that occurred from May 24-Oct. 21.
The declaration may make Mercer County producers eligible for certain assistance such as emergency loans, which can be used to help farmers recover from production and physical losses
Farmers in neighboring Auglaize, Van Wert, Darke and Shelby counties in Ohio and in Jay and Adams counties in Indiana, also have been designated natural disaster areas because they are contiguous to Mercer County. Producers in all Mercer and these counties have until Sept. 5 to apply for assistance. Auglaize County already had been declared a primary natural disaster due to drought in early December.
Locally, farmers can contact the Mercer County FSA office at 419-586-3149 or the Auglaize FSA office at 419-738-3918.