USDA designates 13 N.C. counties as primary natural disaster areas

by | Sep 18, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 13 counties in North Carolina as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that began May 1 and continues.

Those counties are:

  • Avery
  • Brunswick
  • Buncombe
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Durham
  • Henderson
  • Madison
  • Orange
  • Rutherford
  • Transylvania
  • Watauga
  • Wilson

Farmers and ranchers in the following N.C. counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Alamance Edgecombe Lincoln Pitt
Ashe Gaston McDowell Polk
Bladen Granville Mitchell Robeson
Burke Greene Nash Wake
Caldwell Haywood New Hanover Wayne
Caswell Jackson Pender Wilkes
Chatham Johnston Person Yancey

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Sept. 18, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds producers that Congress has not funded the five disaster assistance programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill. These are SURE; the Livestock Indemnity Program; the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish; the Livestock Forage Disaster Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Production losses due to disasters occurring after Sept. 30, 2011, are not eligible for disaster program coverage.

-Information from USDA