Florida agricultural producers who suffered losses and damages due to Hurricane Irma, may be eligible for U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. The loans are made available under the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, under two separate disaster designations.
Hurricane Irma’s Impact to Crop Year 2017
For losses and damaged caused by Hurricane Irma for the 2017 crop year, the Secretary has designated DeSoto, Hardee, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties as primary natural disaster areas.
Producers in the contiguous counties of Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk and Sarasota in Florida are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Hurricane Irma’s Impact to Crop Year 2018
For losses and damage caused by Hurricane Irma for the 2018 crop year, the Secretary has designated DeSoto County as a primary natural disaster area.
Producers in the contiguous counties of Charlotte, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee and Sarasota in Florida are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Producers in all designated primary and contiguous counties will have until March 4, 2019, to apply for emergency loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
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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 emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster.
Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include: Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock 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.