WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Erie County, Pa., as a natural disaster area due to excessive rain that occurred between May 1 and June 28, 2011.
Farmers and ranchers in Crawford and Warren counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
In New York, Chautauqua County farmers are also eligible for assistance, as are farmers in Ashtabula County, Ohio.
Qualified farmers in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
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 loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.