Thirteen Missouri counties have been designated as primary agricultural natural disaster areas making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in the counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), in addition to other disaster programs.
The following counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas due to physical losses caused by high winds and tornadoes on Feb. 29, 2012: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Laclede, Linn, Polk, Pulaski, Stoddard, Taney, Vernon and Wright.
Producers in contiguous counties may also be eligible for programs based on this designation. The contiguous counties are: Adair, Barton, Bates, Butler, Camden, Chariton, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Greene, Grundy, Hickory, Jasper, Lawrence, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Maries, Miller, New Madrid, Ozark, Perry, Phelps, Scott, St. Clair, Stone, Sullivan, Texas, Wayne and Webster.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on March 9, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Loans for physical losses must be used to replace or repair damage to buildings, fences or to compensate the farmer for losses of basic livestock, stored crops, or supplies on hand, equipment, etc., that was lost due to the disaster. In order to qualify, a farmer must have suffered an actual physical loss that was essential to the successful operation of the farm.
USDA also has made a variety of other programs available to assist farmers in recovering from the disaster, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP); Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers may contact the Texas County FSA office at (417) 967-2028 for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs or visit www.fsa. usda.gov.