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FSA program offers low-interest loans to Ray farmers hurt by flooding, drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated 101 Missouri counties, including Ray, as primary agricultural natural disaster areas. The designation makes certain farmers and other agricultural producers eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, in addition to aid from other disaster programs.
The following counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and loss caused by drought and excessive heat in July and August: Adair, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Cass, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Clay, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Howard, Howell, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Madison, Maries, Marion, McDonald, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Pettis, Phelps, Pike, Platte, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Reynolds, Ripley, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, St. Louis, Stoddard, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Worth and Wright.
Producers in contiguous counties may also be eligible for programs based on this designation. The contiguous counties are: Andres, Buchanan, Carroll, Clinton, DeKalb, Iron, New Madrid, Nodaway, Scott, Ste. Genevieve and the Independent City of St. Louis.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Oct. 17, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, 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. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers may contact the Ray County FSA office at 816-776-5861 or the Carroll County FSA office at 660-542-8732 for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for theses and other programs or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

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