Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 44 Arkansas counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers who suffered losses due to excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, hail, high winds, lightning, and tornadoes that occurred since Sept. 20, 2018, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.
The Arkansas counties with the primary natural disaster designation include Arkansas, Ashley, Chicot, Clay, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Faulkner, Franklin, Greene, Hot Spring, Independence, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lee, Lincoln, Little River, Logan, Lonoke, Miller, Mississippi, Monroe, Perry, Phillips, Poinsett, Pope, Prairie, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Francis, Sebastian, Sevier, Stone, Washington, White, Woodruff, and Yell.
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 Arkansas counties of Baxter, Benton, Bradley, Clark, Cleburne, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Garland, Grant, Hempstead, Howard, Izard, Madison, Montgomery, Nevada, Newton, Polk, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Sharp, Union, and Van Buren, along with Bossier, Caddo, East Carroll, Morehouse, Union, Webster, and West Carroll parishes in Louisiana; Bolivar, Coahoma, DeSoto, Issaquena, Tunica, and Washington counties in Mississippi; Butler, Dunklin, Oregon, Pemiscot, and Ripley counties in Missouri; Adair, Le Flore, McCurtain, and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma; Dyer, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties in Tennessee; and Bowie and Cass counties in Texas, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 15, 2020.
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 center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.