Martin Co. named disaster area

WASHINGTON — Congressman Jim Hagedorn of southern Minnesota announced Thursday that Martin County has been given a primary designation as an agricultural disaster area related to rain and flooding that occurred last year.

Hagedorn said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated several counties in Minnesota’s First Congressional District as an agricultural disaster area. The decision relates to inclement weather that occurred between April 15 and Aug. 17.

USDA could begin reviewing losses for the 2018 crop year for production loss assessment reports filed by Dec. 17, 2018.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue wrote in a letter to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz: “USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation. Therefore, I am designating Martin County, Minnesota, as a primary disaster area. In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Blue Earth, Faribault, Jackson and Watonwan, Minnesota, are named as contiguous disaster counties.”

The USDA also named Emmet and Kossuth counties in northern Iowa as contiguous disaster areas.

The disaster designation makes farmers in affected counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance, including emergency loans, from the Farm Service Agency.

Farmers may contact their local FSA offices for more information about disaster assistance.