Gibson County is among more than 1,000 counties across the country designated as disaster areas due to the worsening drought. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement this week.
He also revealed a package of program improvements that will deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters. One involves a reducton in the processing time for counties afected by the drought, another lowers the interest rate for emergency loans ( 2.25 percent) and the third is a payment reduction on Conservation Reserve Program lands qualified for emergency haying and grazing in 2012, from 25 to 10 percent.
"Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy and it is increasingly important that USDA has the tools to act quickly and deliver assistance to farmers and ranchers when they need it most," said Vilsack.