USDA designates 11 Louisiana parishes as primary natural disaster area, also provides support to producers in bordering Mississippi counties
Published 9:37 am Friday, January 6, 2023
ADAMS COUNTY— Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack designated 11 Louisiana parishes as the primary natural disaster area. Producers in these parishes who suffered losses caused by excessive rain occurring from June 1, 2022, through November 2, 2022, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.
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, or refinance certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Producers in the contiguous parishes of Concordia, Catahoula and the Mississippi counties of Adams, Claiborne, Jefferson, and Warren are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
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The 11 primary parishes that suffered losses due to excessive rains that occurred from June 1 through November 2, 2022, include: Ascension, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Franklin, Iberville, Madison, James, Tensas, Vermilion and West Baton Rouge.
Many areas of the state, including Louisiana’s greatest row crop-producing parishes, suffered 18 or more inches of rain within just a few days. The downpour was followed by cloudy, humid, stagnant days resulting in an increase in crop disease and further degradation. This combination of unfortunate conditions may result in total crop loss for some Louisiana farmers.
“In Louisiana, the weather is always challenging for agricultural producers, and this year is no different. In the height of harvest for soybeans, rice, corn, grain sorghum, and cotton, most of our state experienced extreme weather systems, with excessive rain over a short period of time, severely diminishing production in prime agricultural areas,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “This emergency declaration acknowledges those losses and opens the door for producers to access the resources they need to begin recovering from these weather challenges.”
Farmers have eight months from the date of the designation to apply for these emergency loans. Producers can contact their location FSA office for further information regarding eligibility requirements and application procedures.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is August 21, 2023.
FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.
Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at https://www.farmers.gov/recover.