Farmer-specific disaster designation granted for Dubuque, Delaware, Jackson, Jones counties

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Sept. 3 approved a request from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for a “secretarial disaster designation” that would give farmers impacted by last month’s derecho access to U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster programs.

The designation covers 18 counties, including Jones County. Additionally, 24 other counties — including Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson counties — “were designated contiguous natural disaster counties,” according to a press release.

The derecho occurred on Aug. 10, and Reynolds requested the designation for 57 Iowa counties on Aug. 21.

“A secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including FSA emergency loans,” states a press release. “Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.”