The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Seven localities declared disaster areas
Seven local counties are among 33 that were declared as primary disaster areas by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Orange, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland counties were named to the list Thursday due to losses caused by drought and related disasters that occured during the 2012 crop year.
The city of Fredericksburg and Louisa County received contiguous disaster declarations 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 from the date of the declaration 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, said Matthew J. Lohr, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner in a news release. “Any assistance farmers can get will be appreciated.”