The graphic below shows counties designated as disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (data from the USDA. See http://www.fema.gov/dhsusda/searchState.do). It speaks for itself.
(Click on image to see full size)
Recent USDA Disaster Declarations
Southwest Farm Press reports that counties in Kansas designated as disaster areas.
(emphasis mine) [my comment]
Counties in Kansas designated as disaster areas
Nov 12, 2009 9:52 AM
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Cheyenne, Rice and Sherman counties in Kansas as primary natural disaster areas because of losses caused by high winds and hail that occurred from July 17, through September 3, 2009.
"President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to the area and serious harm to farms in Kansas and we want to help," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to corn, dry beans, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat, as well as grasses and forage."
The Farm Service Agency reports that USDA Designates 10 Counties in South Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas.
USDA Designates 10 Counties in South Dakota as Primary Natural Disaster Areas
Decision Allows Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for USDA Assistance
WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2009 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 10 counties in South Dakota as primary natural disaster areas because of losses caused by the combined effects of severe storms with hail, high winds, flooding and grasshopper infestations, which occurred during the period of Jan.1,2009, and continuing. The ten counties designated are Aurora, Brown, Custer, Fall River, Gregory, Hutchinson, Jackson, Marshall, Mellette and Yankton.
"President Obama and I understand these conditions caused severe damage to the area and serious harm to the farms in South Dakota and we want to help," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to forage and pasture, corn, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat."
Farm And Ranch Guide reports that six northern Minnesota counties designed ag disaster area.
Six northern Minnesota counties designed ag disaster area
On Oct. 8, the USDA named six counties in northern Minnesota as primary natural disaster areas. Those counties, Kittson, Koohiching, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington and Roseau, were named because of losses caused by the combined effects of excessive snow, rain, flooding, flash flooding and unseasonably cool temperatures, as well as frost and freezes that occurred from April 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009.
In making the announcement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said, "President Obama and I understand there conditions caused by severe damage to the area and serious harm to the farms in Minnesota and we want to help. This action will provide help to hundreds of farmers who suffered significant production losses to alfalfa, barley, canola, corn, oats, rye, soybeans, sunflowers, wheat and forage crops."
Chron reports that New Mexico counties declared disaster areas.
NM counties eligible for disaster aid
© 2009 The Associated Press
Nov. 4, 2009, 8:25AM
CLOVIS, N.M. — Four eastern New Mexico counties have been declared eligible for disaster assistance due to their proximity to Texas counties that are disaster areas due to drought and other problems.
Farmers and ranchers in Lea, Curry, Quay and Roosevelt counties can apply for low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., says farmers and ranchers of the four counties have been economically affected by severe weather this year.
The Daily News Online reports that 39 upstate counties named disaster areas in Michigan.
Genesee and Orleans named disaster counties
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:14 AM EDT
Farmers in Genesee and Orleans counties may be eligible for low-interest government loans due to excessive rain and hail that hit beginning May 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced.
Genesee and Orleans are among 39 upstate counties [in Michigan] named to a disaster assistance list released last week by the USDA.
The counties were named due to natural disasters that damaged crops. Farmers in eligible counties have until June 21, 2010, to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. The federal farm Service Agency will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Stltoday.com reports that Missouri farmers to get disaster aid.
Missouri farmers to get disaster aid
JEFFERSON CITY > FARMERS TO GET DISASTER AID Farmers in about two-thirds of Missouri's counties, including St. Charles and Franklin, may be eligible for aid because of a federal disaster declaration for water and wind damage. Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared a disaster as a result of rain, winds and flooding that occurred between Feb. 1 and July 31. Farmers may qualify for federal emergency loans or payments. The agricultural disaster declaration covers 28 primary counties, plus 47 counties located next to them.
The Quad-City Times reports that disaster declaration includes Iowa's Jackson county.
Disaster declaration includes Iowa's Jackson County
Rod Boshart Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009 2:00 am
DES MOINES - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared 22 Iowa counties, including Jackson County, as disaster areas Monday due to storm damage earlier this year.
Earlier this month, Gov. Chet Culver asked Vilsack is issue a secretarial disaster designation after damage to plants and significant production losses due to severe storms between May 15 and July 31.
The declarations were made after assessments on crop and agriculture losses were done throughout Iowa [See this? The USDA VERIFIED the damage to Iowa's crops]. Declarations are still pending for several Iowa counties not covered by Monday's announcement, but may be added at a later date.
The Star-telegram reports that wet weather delays harvest from midwest to south.
Wet weather delays harvest from Midwest to South
Posted Thursday, Nov. 05, 2009
By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS — And most will need "significant" help, either from the government or another source, to get financing for 2010, he said.
Low-interest loans or other aid may be available to farmers in the handful of Louisiana parishes and Mississippi counties that have been declared federal disaster areas due to late spring and early summer flooding, but state officials are seeking additional help for those affected by the drought and subsequent rains.
"More than ever, Louisiana producers are in need of disaster funds," state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain said.
My reaction: The USDA has declared half of the Midwest to be an agricultural disaster area, which leads to some interesting questions.
Why is the USDA is predicting the biggest soybean crop ever, while at the same time declaring that half the Midwest to have suffered "significant production losses" due to natural disasters? Isn't that slightly contradictory?