Dare, Tyrrell now included in agricultural disaster declaration

Published 3:18 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

The N.C. General Assembly approved and Gov. Roy Cooper has signed legislation extending the deadline for the agricultural disaster relief program to Dec. 20.

Eleven additional North Carolina counties have received secretarial disaster declarations based on agricultural losses from Hurricane Florence or Tropical Storm Michael. These counties are Anson, Avery, Dare, Person, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Watauga and Yadkin. With these additions, 65 counties are now eligible for agricultural disaster relief through this program.

Six counties are still awaiting a secretarial disaster declaration, which would make them eligible to participate in the disaster assistance program. These counties are Davie, Franklin, Forsyth, Rockingham, Stokes and Surry.

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“We don’t want to miss any farmers that are eligible for help through this program,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “To qualify for assistance, a farmer only needs to farm in a disaster-declared county. Payments from this fund will be based on county averages for loss and yield rather than individual losses.”

This assistance is available to farmers who suffered crop losses including apples, barley, corn, cotton, hay, industrial hemp, nursery crops, specialty crops, tobacco, peanuts, sweet potatoes, livestock, aquaculture and more.

“I urge farmers to go online and fill out an application as soon as possible,” Troxler said. “You can find the application as well as other information about the program at ncagr.gov/agriculturaldisasterprogram or call 1-866-645-9403.

The legislation gives the department authority to extend the filing deadline for nursery crops, fruit-bearing trees, and bushes, and specialty crops where the survival level is not immediately known to May 1, 2019 upon written request by the person applying by the Dec. 20 deadline.

Additionally, for those seeking financial assistance for losses of livestock or poultry, the deadline may be extended to March 1, 2019 if a written request is filed by the Dec. 20 deadline.