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21 southeastern counties submitted for drought designation
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USDA Farm Service Agency Georgia State Executive Director Hobby Stripling reported that 22 Georgia counties in the southeastern part of the state have been submitted for Secretarial Disaster Designation due to the early spring drought.

These counties were named in the U.S. Drought Monitor as being in the extreme drought category.  They were requested to complete a Loss Assessment Report (LAR) to show crop losses through mid-April 2011. The counties submitted were: Atkinson, Appling, Bacon, Ben Hill, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Chatham, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Dodge, Effingham, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lowndes, Pierce, Telfair, Thomas, Wayne, and Wheeler.

Stripling explained that currently a majority of Georgia’s counties are experiencing crop losses due to extended drought along with the excessive heat.  If the pattern of hot and dry weather does not change quickly, he expects other counties will be asked to complete Loss Assessment Reports for disaster assistance by the end of summer.

“The April LARs only reflected losses through mid-April and the majority of Georgia counties did not show crop loss until after this date.  I expect crop loss assessments which reflect current loss to be requested and completed by mid-July,” Stripling said.

If you have any questions, please contact your local Farm Service Agency Office.