Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 11 Florida counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers in Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Walton and Washington counties who suffered losses caused by Hurricane Michael that occurred on Oct. 10, 2018, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.
This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.
Producers in the contiguous Florida counties of Bay, Leon, Madison, Santa Rosa, Taylor and Wakulla counties, along with Covington, Escambia, Geneva and Houston counties in Alabama, and Brooks, Decatur, Grady, Seminole and Thomas counties in Georgia, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Nov. 20, 2019.
FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
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 centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.