Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated four Florida counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers who suffered losses due to recent weather events may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.
These natural disaster designations allow 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 Dixie, Gilchrist, and Levy counties who suffered losses due to a severe hailstorm that occurred on March 27, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Producers in the contiguous Florida counties of Alachua, Citrus, Columbia, Lafayette, Marion, Suwannee, and Taylor are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Producers in Walton County who suffered losses due to recent drought are eligible to apply for emergency loans.
Producers in the contiguous Florida counties of Bay, Holmes, Okaloosa, and Washington, along with Covington and Geneva counties in Alabama, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is June 24, 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.