DROUGHT CONTINUES: More Counties Added As Disaster Areas
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds issued statements Wednesday about the Iowa drought situation.
The statements come after the USDA designated an additional four Iowa counties as primary natural disaster areas and six counties as contiguous disaster areas.
Lyon, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties have been named primary natural disaster areas. Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Monona, O’Brien, and Osceola counties have been named contiguous disaster areas.
On July 16, Gov. Branstad sent a letter to U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting a drought disaster declaration for impacted Iowa counties. As a result 42 Iowa counties were designated disastrous on August 1.
“Today’s disaster designation of 10 additional Iowa counties demonstrates the impact that the drought has made on Iowa’s agricultural industry. The Lt. Governor and I would like to extend our gratitude towards Sec. Vilsack in recognizing the needs of these additional counties. This disaster designation will provide affected Iowans with additional resources during these difficult times,” said Branstad.
One of those benefits is access low-interest emergency loans. Crop insurers are also helping out farmers by agreeing to a grace period for insurance premium payments. In addition, the USDA has relaxed rules for grazing and haying on CRP and other land enrolled in federal conservation programs.