The U.S. Department of Agriculture has listed 43 Michigan counties as primary natural disaster areas. The list includes Berrien, Cass and St. Joseph counties.
The USDA listed an additional 31 counties as contiguous disaster counties, including Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties.
Following excessive rain, flooding and extreme temperatures earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, was among several lawmakers who signed a letter urging support for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s disaster designation request for the state of Michigan.
According to the USDA, a secretarial disaster designation makes “farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.”