U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4), today announced that 23 Arkansas counties have been designated as disaster areas, allowing farmers and ranchers to receive assistance to recover from losses caused by severe weather in the state. In June, east Arkansas was ravaged by flash flooding, which devastated thousands of acres of crops and pastures.
“Last month’s flash floods not only damaged Arkansans’ homes and businesses, but destroyed crops and washed away land used for livestock,” said Pryor. “Storms like these remind us of the importance of supporting disaster relief and helping our neighbors in need. I’m pleased the USDA will provide this assistance to help our farmers and ranchers recover.”
“The severe weather conditions in Arkansas last month brought flash flooding, hail, and other destructive forces of nature that were devastating to agriculture producers in the path of these storms. As a result of this declaration, farmers will now be eligible to apply for emergency loans through the FSA to help them recover their losses and continue operations. Considering that agriculture makes up a large portion of our state’s economy, this relief is essential to many Arkansans who faced significant losses as a result of these storms,” Boozman said.
“Arkansas’s First District has some of the most productive agricultural growers in the country, but this year’s widespread crop damage illustrates the uncertainty they face every day. Heavy rains and high water have hurt a wide range of crops grown in the First District, creating significant producer losses with few options to salvage the fall harvest,” said Crawford. “While a Secretarial Disaster Declaration does not solve the ongoing flooding dilemma facing our producers, it does provide emergency loan assistance to lessen uncertainty and get our growers back in their fields next year. I’m grateful Secretary Vilsack recognized that need.”
“Agriculture is an integral part of Arkansas’s economy, and today’s declaration will provide essential assistance to help Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers recover from challenges caused by the recent severe weather,” said Griffin.
“Arkansas’s farmers and ranchers are vital to our state’s economy. As they recover from this latest wave of severe weather, I’m grateful they will have much-needed assistance from USDA,” said Womack.
"I appreciate Secretary Vilsack's quick approval of Governor Beebe's disaster declaration request for the 23 impacted counties," said Cotton. "I have heard from many farmers about the impact of the recent flooding, and I look forward to working with our friends in Arkansas to make sure farmers are able to access the emergency funds they need."
Under this designation, agricultural producers in Cross, Jackson, Independence, Lee, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, St. Francis, White, and Woodruff Counties will be eligible to apply for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, including emergency loans. Arkansas, Cleburne, Craighead, Crittenden, Faulkner, Izard, Jefferson, Lawrence, Phillips, Poinsett, Pulaski, Sharp, and Stone Counties have been named contiguous disaster counties. Arkansans can reach out to their local FSA offices for more information.