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Georgia Farmers Eligible for Agriculture Disaster Assistance Passed by the U.S. Senate

Tuesday, October 12, 2004  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774



ATLANTA, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that Georgia farmers will be eligible to receive financial assistance due to their losses from Hurricanes Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.  The U.S. Senate on Monday passed $2.9 billion in agriculture disaster assistance as part of the Military Construction Appropriations conference report.  The conference report now goes to the White House for presidential signature.

            “I deeply appreciate the work of our Congressional delegation.  They fought hard for Georgia farmers,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “Our farmers took a severe hit from Hurricanes Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.  This assistance will help one of our state’s leading industries recover from the impact of these storms.”

The disaster package includes assistance for grazing, crop, and tree losses caused by natural disasters.  In order to qualify, counties must have received a primary disaster designation from the Secretary of Agriculture.  On October 5, 2004, 116 Georgia counties were designated as eligible for disaster relief by Secretary Veneman.

Any producer who has suffered at least 35 percent crop loss will qualify to receive payment.  Farmers will also be required to sign up for two years of crop insurance, if not currently participating, or participate in the noninsured crop disaster assistance program.  Orchardists who lost trees between December 1, 2003, and December 31, 2004, due to a natural disaster may qualify for payment to offset replacement costs.

Producers interested in applying for assistance programs should contact their local Farm Service Agency office.