The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 150 counties in Georgia, including Banks County, as primary natural disaster areas due to an ongoing drought and excessive heat that has damaged thousands of acres of crops.
“Many producers have lost their crops and ultimately their livelihood due to the devastation caused by the drought,” said agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I want these farmers and ranchers to know that we are here for them and we will support them through the recovery process and help them once again become productive suppliers of food, fiber and fuel that keep America prospering. This designation will provide that support.”
The drought — which began April 15, 2011, and continues — caused 30 percent or more loss of forage crops, pasture, grain crops, cotton, peanuts and tobacco in the counties that were designated as a disaster area.