La. farmers eligible for loan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 22, 2006

VIDALIA &8212; Farmers in all parishes of Louisiana are eligible for a Farm Service Agency emergency loan this year because of the severe drought that began in January is still going.

Concordia Parish Farm Loans Manager Calvin Adams said anyone who has participated in farming a family farm this year and has suffered a loss of at least 30 percent is eligible to apply for the loan.

Adams said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered this loan before.

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&8220;The last time this program was implemented was after hurricanes Katrina and Rita,&8221; Adams said. &8220;Concordia Parish was designated even though we did not suffer as much damage as farmers in south Louisiana.&8221;

Adams said the USDA started the program on Oct. 19 and will continue to accept applications until June 19, 2007.

Individual farmers or farming entities are eligible to receive up to $500,000 at an interest rate of 3.75 percent for as long as 20 years, Adams said.

Adams said he did not know how many farmers would be affected by the drought because many farmers in the parish are still harvesting.

&8220;I haven&8217;t had any farmers come in and ask about the loan either,&8221; Adams said.

Farmers interested in applying for the FSA loan should ask about Declaration S2426.

Adams said farmers can call the Concordia Parish FSA office at (318) 757-4870 or they may visit the office at 8331 U.S. 84 in Ferriday.