FSA disaster applications available

LOGO USDA Rural Development logoHOUSTON – A late spring has prompted the federal government to declare qualified Chickasaw County farmers eligible for emergency loans through the Farmers Services Agency.

According to James A. Love, FSA Farm Loan Manager, this authority is pursuant to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s declaration on Dec. 11, of a major disaster in Mississippi caused by excessive rainfall and cooler than normal temperatures that occurred from March 1 through July 31, 2013.

As a result, Chickasaw County has been designated a primary natural disaster area and local farmers, ranchers and operators are eligible for Federal Disaster assistance as defined by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Applications for assistance in the disaster-stricken county will be accepted by FSA through Aug. 11, 2014.

Farmers qualifying for emergency loans may borrow up to 100 percent of their actual production loss or the amount needed to restore their operation to its pre-disaster condition, whichever is less. The new emergency loan and outstanding principal balance of any existing emergency loan owed by the applicant or any individual member of an entity cannot exceed $500,000.

FSA emergency loans cover losses from designated disasters and are made to qualified farmers who cannot obtain credit from other lenders in the local area.

The USDA designated 38 counties in Mississippi as primary natural disaster areas including Chickasaw County. Calhoun County was named a contiguous county and farmers there may qualify for assistance.

Those counties named as primary disaster areas are: Adams, Alcorn, Benton, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Coahoma, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Desoto, Grenada, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Leflore, Monroe, Montgomery, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Quitman, Tippah, Tishomingo, Tunica, Union, Webster, Wilkinson, and Yalobusha.

“Our hearts go out to those Mississippi farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities through these difficult times.

“We’re also telling Mississippi producers,” he added, “that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

For more information about this declaration and other USDA/FSA assistance contact Love at 456-1499 or at FSA offices at 15 Lee Horn Drive, Suite 1, in Houston.

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