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Published March 12, 2010, 10:03 AM

Disaster aid offered to farmers in 37 MN counties

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making disaster aid available to farmers in 37 Minnesota counties, mostly in the northern two-thirds of the state.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making disaster aid available to farmers in 37 Minnesota counties, mostly in the northern two-thirds of the state.

In its announcement Thursday, the USDA cites the combined effects of excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding, unseasonably cool temperatures, frosts and freezes, and drought during the 2009 growing season.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the declaration will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to a wide variety of crops. Gov. Tim Pawlenty requested the designation in January.

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low-interest emergency loans and other aid from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.

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The 16 counties designated as primary natural disaster area are: Aitkin, Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Lake, Mahnomen, Pope, St. Louis, Wadena and Wilkin.

Farmers in 21 contiguous Minnesota counties can also qualify: Clay, Douglas, Grant, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Norman, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Polk, Roseau, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd and Traverse; as well as Richland County of North Dakota and Douglas County of Wisconsin.

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On the Net: FSA Disaster Assistance Programs

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