Gov. Jay Nixon requests disaster designation for 23 counties

Friday, August 19, 2011 | 8:58 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Boone County, along with 22 other counties, might soon be declared primary disaster areas.

Gov. Jay Nixon asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate the counties as primary disaster areas to receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

Potential Primary Disaster Counties

Gov. Nixon has requested the following counties be declared primary disaster areas

  • Andrew
  • Atchison
  • Boone
  • Buchanan
  • Callaway
  • Carroll
  • Clark
  • Clay
  • Cole
  • Cooper
  • Franklin
  • Holt
  • Howard
  • Jackson
  • Lafayette
  • Lewis
  • Moniteau
  • Montgomery
  • Platte
  • Ray
  • Saline
  • St. Louis
  • Warren

The recommendation for a disaster designation follows heavy rain and flooding in Missouri since May, according to a news release Nixon issued.

“It is essential that (Missouri farmers) have the support they need to keep their farms operating after being affected by the floods and heavy rains,” Nixon said in the press release.

Primary disaster counties are those that have lost at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop, or where individual farmers suffer production losses of more than 30 percent, according to the news release.

The designation would allow farmers in those counties to receive Farm Service Agency emergency loans and make them eligible for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program, otherwise known as SURE.

SURE is a program that pays the farmers directly to offset production losses and is based on farmers' yields and the average price of crops, as determined by the national average market price, said Dan Gieseke, Farm Service Agency farm loan chief for Missouri.

“The most important thing is the SURE program,” Gieseke said. “We don’t expect many emergency loan applications, mainly because our farmers have used crop insurance programs,” he said.

To be eligible for SURE, farmers must have a disaster declaration from the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

Wheat, soybeans, corn and milo were the crops most affected by the flooding, Gieseke said.

Emergency loans would be available immediately, but payments from the SURE would not be available until next fall, after crop market prices have been determined, Gieseke said.

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