USA - Several metro Atlanta counties declared natural disaster zones after severe drought

28.03.2024 114 views

More than 30 Georgia counties — including 10 in metro Atlanta — have been designated “primary natural disaster areas” by the United States Department of Agriculture, the agency announced Thursday.

The designation comes after a severe drought gripped the state for weeks during the growing season. Farmers in the affected counties can apply for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to recover.

“Our agency stands committed to providing support to our agricultural producers who are recovering from natural disasters,” Arthur Tripp, the FSA’s state executive director for Georgia, said in a news release. “Drought conditions can be devastating for many agricultural operations. Through these designations, Georgia’s farmers and ranchers will have access to the emergency credit that is critical to their recovery from severe drought conditions.”

In November, low rainfall led to droughts ranging from “moderate” to “exceptional” in north Georgia, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The droughts impacted 5.4 million Georgians — especially farmers, who reported heavy crop losses and delayed harvests from the parched soil.

A 2022 census showed there were more than 39,000 farms in Georgia and nearly 10 million acres of farmland, the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation reported. It’s the No. 1 state for the production of peanuts, a type of chicken called a broiler, pecans, blueberries and more.

Source - https://www.atlantanewsfirst.com

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