The President designated 33 Missouri counties as primary agricultural disaster areas, making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in primary and contiguous counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The following counties were designated as primary disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding which occurred Dec. 23, 2015, through Jan. 9: Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Jasper, Jefferson, Laclede, Lawrence, Lincoln, McDonald, Maries, Morgan, Newton, Osage, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis, Scott, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright
The contiguous counties are: Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Callaway, Cedar, Christian, Cooper, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Howell, Iron, Madison, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Montgomery, New Madrid, Ozark, Perry, Pettis, Pike, St. Clair, Shannon, Stoddard, Vernon, Warren, Washington and the City of St. Louis.
All counties listed above were designated disaster areas on Jan. 21, 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 Pettis County FSA office at 660-826-3339 ext. 2 for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
Release courtesy of USDA