The ongoing drought of 2012 has prompted another round of disaster declarations by United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The latest declarations affect 35 more counties in Iowa, including several counties in northwest Iowa.
In the declaration issued Wednesday, Aug. 15, the counties of Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Humboldt, Ida, O'Brien, Osceola and Pocahontas were added to an existing federal disaster declaration for federal aid due to drought losses. But with the declaration, Producers in counties contiguous to those added to the disaster declaration are now also eligible to apply for disaster benefits. Those counties which have been identified as contiguous are Palo Alto, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Plymouth, and Sioux counties.
Secretary Vilsack's statement indicated counties identified in the disaster declaration have experienced severe drought conditions for eight or more consecutive weeks, with some counties experiencing extreme drought conditions at some point during the current growing season.
Producers in both the primary and contiguous counties should contact their local county Farm Service Agency offices for additional information on the various options available.
Farmers who seek to graze or harvest forage from Conservation Reserve Program acres, including expanded acreage such as wetlands and waterways should also check with their local Farm Service Agency office.