By Kent Faulk — The Birmingham News
December 24, 2009, 11:54AM
All but one Alabama county — Coosa County — have been declared disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of the heavy rains and floods that damaged crops across the state this year, the USDA announced this morning.
The designation allows qualified farmers to apply for low-interest loans, according to the USDA.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley had asked for the disaster declaration in a letter to the USDA on Dec. 2.
USDA officials reviewed crop loss assessment reports and other information, according to a letter received by Gov. Riley’s office on Wednesday from USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. “Based on this review, USDA has determined that there were sufficient production losses in 66 Alabama counties to warrant a Secretarial natural disaster designation,” he wrote.