Governor Warner Requests Disaster Declarations for All Remaining Drought-Stricken Localities
-Also urges reconsideration of USDA livestock
compensation program applicants-
RICHMOND — Governor Mark R. Warner today requested federal drought disaster designations for eight additional Virginia localities, marking the end of the damage assessment reporting process for all Virginia localities affected by the drought and requesting assistance due to agricultural losses.
Governor Warner also reiterated to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman the importance of reconsidering the arbitrary deadline for a recently announced Livestock Compensation Program – especially in light of the fact that 15 Virginia localities which have not yet received secretarial disaster designations had damage assessment reports before the U.S. Farm Service Agency on or before the program was announced and closed on the same day.
The Governor’s most recent request seeks agricultural disaster status for Alleghany, Charles City, Giles, Northampton, Northumberland, Orange, Shenandoah, and Southampton counties. USDA approval would make farmers in these localities, and contiguous counties, eligible for low interest loans as well as any supplemental relief that Congress may provide.
“Even with recent rains, Virginia’s drought, and certainly this year’s crop losses, are an ongoing problem,” said Governor Warner. “Any relief we can provide to Virginia’s agricultural community is welcome.”
Governor Warner also called on Secretary Veneman to take action on pending requests submitted on behalf of 36 localities in which growers have documented drought or heat-related crop losses.
Currently, 45 Virginia localities have been declared primary disaster areas: Appomattox (10/21), Augusta (10/21), Bedford (8/8 and 10/21), Bland (10/21), Botetourt (10/21), Brunswick (7/18), Buckingham (7/18 and 10/21), Campbell (10/21), Caroline (10/21), Craig (10/21), Cumberland (7/18 and 10/21), Floyd (10/21), Fluvanna (7/18), Franklin (10/21), Goochland (3/01 and 10/21), Greene (10/21), Hanover (10/21), Henry (10/21), King & Queen (10/21), King George (10/21), King William (10/21), Louisa (7/18), Lunenburg (10/21), Madison (10/21), Mecklenburg (10/21), Middlesex (10/21), Montgomery (10/21), Nelson (10/21), New Kent (10/21), Nottoway (10/21), Orange (8/8), Page (10/21), Pittsylvania (10/21), Powhatan (10/21), Prince Edward (4/4), Prince William (10/21), Richmond County (10/21), Rockingham (10/21), Rockbridge (8/8), Spotsylvania (10/21), Stafford (10/21), Suffolk City (10/21), Surry (10/21), Westmoreland (10/21), and Wythe (10/21).
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is now assessing all Virginia localities that have not requested a disaster designation to see if any additional localities would qualify.