Farmers in Pettis County and 97 other Missouri counties are now eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) after the Secretary of Agriculture designated them as primary agricultural disaster areas.
Ninety-eight counties were designated as primary disaster areas Aug. 26 due to damages and losses caused by excessive rainfall and flooding which occurred March 1 and throughout the following months.
According to a USDA news release, the disaster designation makes 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 of 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.
Additional counties include: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, DeKalb, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Laclede, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, McDonald, Macon, Maries, Marion, Mercer, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Nodaway, Osage, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Platte, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shelby, Stoddard, Sullivan, Vernon, Warren, Wayne, Webster and Worth.
The contiguous counties are: Carter, Christian, Douglas, Iron, Lawrence, Madison, Oregon, Reynolds, Shannon, Stone, Texas, Washington, Wright and the City of St. Louis.
For more information, contact the Pettis County FSA office at 660-826-3339 ext. 108 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.