USDA designates 'primary disaster areas,' making farmers eligible for low-income loans

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 23 counties in Missouri and five counties in Illinois as primary natural disaster areas, making farmers there eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

Designated counties include Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Ste. Genevieve and Stoddard in Missouri. Illinois counties receiving the designation are Alexander, Jackson, Monroe, Randolph and Union.

The designation was made Thursday by agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. Qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency, provided other 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.

Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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