“The severe and extreme drought conditions in our state have had a damaging impact on many livestock operations,” said Arthur Tripp, the state executive director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Georgia.
The Farm Service Agency said it uses the U.S. Drought Monitor to determine which counties are eligible.
The funding is provided by the agency’s Livestock Forage Disaster Program. In a release, the agency encouraged farmers to gather and submit evidence of their 2023 losses with their application to speed up the process.
The move follows a disaster declaration issued on Nov. 6 by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, which covered 11 of the same North Georgia counties, plus several surrounding ones. That declaration, also spurred by the drought, allows all farmers — not just livestock producers — to apply for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency.
Fortunately, a large wildfire that was sparked by arson in late October in Walker County, 50 miles northwest of Dalton, is under control. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission’s wildfire tracker, the blaze is now 99% contained.
Drought in Georgia
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that livestock producers in 20 Georgia counties can now apply for financial assistance to cope with their mounting losses. The counties are: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Fannin, Floyd, Gilmer, Gordon, Lumpkin, Murray, Pickens, Union, Walker and Whitfield counties in North Georgia, and Decatur, Early, Miller and Seminole in South Georgia.