Washington, D.C. – 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 wrote to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in support of Governor Mike Beebe’s request for federal disaster assistance for Arkansas farmers and ranchers suffering from losses caused by severe weather in the state. Last week, east Arkansas was hit with flash flooding, which devastated thousands of acres of crops and pastures.
The full text of the delegation’s letter is below:
We write in support of the State of Arkansas’s request for federal disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers in Arkansas who are facing significant losses due to severe weather in east Arkansas. The affected areas are within Cross, Lee, Prairie, Woodruff, Independence, Lonoke, St. Francis, Jackson, Monroe and White counties in Arkansas. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe has requested a Secretarial Disaster Designation after a review of agricultural damages conducted by the State Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency.
Arkansas has suffered agricultural devastation including damage and losses to crops and pastures due to the effects of flooding throughout the entire state that began June 29, 2014. This will require access to additional agriculture disaster programs in both the primary and contiguous counties as necessary.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster declaration will provide farmers the necessary option of applying for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency. This will allow producers to continue operations despite the devastation from the flash flooding, excessive rain and dangerous wind conditions. For many agriculture producers in Arkansas, this will provide the essential lifeline to meet financial obligations. Emergency loans are vital to farmers and ranchers who may have no other source of revenue over the next year.