Missouri counties deemed primary agricultural disaster areas

Friday, August 2, 2013

Marshall -- The President designated 27 Missouri counties as primary agricultural disaster areas making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in primary and contiguous eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Twenty-seven counties were designated as primary disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and flooding which occurred from May 29 to June 10, 2013. Fifty other counties were designated as contiguous counties, including Saline County.

All counties on the list were designated disaster areas on July 18, 2013, 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. Loans for production losses may also be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock or to make payments on real estate or chattel debts. Generally, loans for production losses cannot be approved until crops have completed their production cycle or have been harvested.

In order to qualify, a farmer must have suffered a 30 percent loss in production or 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 Emergency Conservation Program (ECP); Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

Interested farmers may contact the Lafayette County FSA office at (660) 584-8732, for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.