Richland County Commissioners Request Secretarial and Presidential Disaster Declarations for Harvest Time Weather Damage to Crops


December 4, 2019 | View PDF

In a petition to Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Richland County commissioners have requested that he submit a request to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the President of the United States for an agriculture related disaster declaration for Richland County. The Commissioners state, “the declaration would benefit the entire population of Richland County, contiguous counties and the county’s wider economic trade area by making crop producers eligible for disaster programs, emergency assistance, and emergency loans, or by streamlining procedures for producers to access the programs.”

Explaining the need for the declaration, the commissioners state, “During what should have been normal harvest time, Richland County experienced two major unseasonable snow storms, freezing temperatures, rains so frequent that crops seldom became fit for combining or digging before the next precipitation, and an accumulation of precipitation in a matter of weeks that approached the normal average annual rainfall.”

Citing reports from Sidney Sugars, Safflower Technologies and Seigfreid Insurance Agency, the commissioners related a 6.9 million dollar loss to the sugar beet growers and a 30-50% quality loss on crops overall.

The commissioners also cited the fact that 47 of North Dakota’s 53 counties have received designation as primary natural disaster areas. As a contiguous county, Richland County is eligible for relief in the form of emergency loans. In addition, declarations have been made for counties in Montana which are in proximity to Richland, with more petitions under way.

The petition was submitted to Governor Bullock’s office on December 2, 2019.


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