Farmers eligible for disaster assistance

Farming operations in two area counties are now eligible for disaster assistance as a result of the June wind storms, according to an announcement Tuesday afternoon by the Farm Service Agency.

“Emergency loans for farmers, ranchers and operators are available through the Lincoln-Franklin County Office of the Farm Service Agency,” Rodney Johnson, FSA farm loan manager, said Tuesday afternoon.

Johnson said the assistance is a result of FSA Administrator Juan Garcia’s declaration on July 28, 2014, of a major disaster in Mississippi caused by high winds and tornadoes that occurred on June 10, 2014.

Lincoln and Franklin counties are within the primary natural disaster area and therefore have been designated eligible for federal disaster assistance under Section 321 (a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.

Applications for assistance in the disaster-stricken counties will be accepted by FSA through March 30, 2015.

Farmers qualifying for emergency loans may borrow up to 100 percent of their actual production loss or the amount needed to restore their operation to its pre-disaster condition, whichever is less.

The new emergency loan and outstanding principal balance of any existing emergency loan owed by the applicant or any individual member of an operation cannot exceed $500,000.

FSA emergency loans cover losses from designated disasters and will be made to qualified farmers who cannot obtain credit from other lenders in the local area.

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