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Louisiana News

NELA Drought Disaster Assistance Helps Farmers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Madison, Richland and Tensas parishes in Louisiana as a primary natural disaster area due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

 

“Our hearts go out to those Louisiana farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom 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 Louisiana producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

 

Farmers and ranchers in the following parishes in Louisiana also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their parishes are contiguous. Those parishes are:

 

Avoyelles

Jackson

Ouachita

Concordia

La Salle

West Carroll

East Carroll

Morehouse

Winn

 

Farmers and ranchers in Adams, Claiborne, Jefferson and Warren counties in Mississippi also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

 

All parishes and counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Nov. 23, 2016, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible parishes 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. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

 

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include theEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program;Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.