The counties include Blount, Cumberland, Fayette, Fentress, Haywood, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott and Wilson.
“This has been another year of weather extremes for Tennessee farmers,” Haslam said. “Assistance would bring some relief to producers who saw heavy rains turn to record heat and drought during the same growing season.”
Haslam made the request in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. A secretarial designation would make farmers in these areas eligible to apply for lost income recovery, low-interest loans and other disaster assistance through the USDA Farm Service Agency.
After experiencing heavy rains and flooding early in the growing season, many areas saw record high average temperatures and drought from July to October. Farmers in these areas reported crop losses ranging from 30 to 50 percent for corn, soybeans, tobacco, pastures and hay and some commercial vegetable crops.
“Governor Haslam has shown that he understands that farming is a tough business made tougher with unpredictable weather. I thank him for recognizing the importance of agriculture to our state and for acting on behalf of farmers who have suffered losses this year,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson.
For the latest crop forecast and statistics on Tennessee farm production, visit the USDA National Agricultural Statistics, Tennessee Field Office at www.nass.usda.gov/tn.