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BY PORTSIA SMITH
Seven area counties are among 33 that have been declared as primary disaster areas by the federal government.
Farmers in Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland counties can seek relief for losses caused by drought and related disasters this year. Fredericksburg and Louisa County were added to the list because they border a locality named as a primary disaster area.
The designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible for emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency, provided certain requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months to apply.
The other primary disaster localities include Amelia, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Essex, Gloucester, Greene, Hanover, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Middlesex, Northumberland, Nottoway, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Richmond and Sussex counties.
"While I am sorry that so many Virginia counties and cities needed to be designated as disaster areas, I am grateful that the USDA has designated them and offered assistance in the form of low interest loans," state Agriculture Commissioner Matthew J. Lohr said in a news release. "Any assistance farmers can get will be appreciated."
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419