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United States Department of Agriculture

April 5, 2017


The Honorable Tom Wolf

Governor

State of Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

Dear Governor Wolf:

Office of the Secretary

Washington, D.C., 20250

On March 9, 2017, the Pennsylvania Acting State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency (FSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture, requested a primary county disaster designation for 14 Pennsylvania counties due to losses caused by drought that occurred from May 1, 2016 through December 10, 2016.

In addition, in accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, counties in adjacent States are named as contiguous disaster areas. Those New Jersey counties are:

Burlington
Hunterdon
Mercer
Warren

The primary county disaster designation Pennsylvania counties are:

Adams
Allegheny
Beaver
Bucks
Butler
Cumberland
Franklin
Fulton
Lawrence
Mercer
Northampton
Schuylkill
Snyder
Union

USDA reviewed the Loss Assessment Reports and determined that there were sufficient production losses to warrant a Secretarial Natural disaster designation. Therefore, I am designating all 14 counties named above as primary natural disaster areas.

In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas of your State are named as contiguous disaster counties. Those counties are:

Armstrong
Bedford
Berks
Carbon
Centre
Clarion
Clinton
Columbia
Crawford
Huntingdon
Juniata
Lebanon
Lehigh
Luzerne
Lycoming
Mifflin
Monroe
Montgomery
Northumberland
Perry
Philadelphia
Venango
Washington
Westmoreland
York


In addition, in accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, counties in adjacent States are named as contiguous disaster areas. Along with New Jersey, other states, counties, and numbers for contiguous counties in adjacent states are:

Maryland (4)

Allegany
Carroll
Frederick
Washington

Ohio (3)

Columbiana
Mahoning
Trumbull

West Virginia (1)

Hancock

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguos to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans.

Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.

Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.

Sincerely

Michael L. Young

Acting Deputy Secretary