Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack designated 83 counties in Ohio as primary agricultural natural disaster areas and five counties in Ohio as contiguous counties Sept. 5.
In addition five counties in Pennsylvania and eight counties in West Virginia were designated as contiguous counties. The disaster designation is based on damages due to drought and excessive heat that began Feb. 1 and is continuing.
In addition, Vilsack has designated Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake counties as primary agricultural natural disaster areas due to frost and freezes that occurred from March 1 through May 31.
Also named as contiguous counties are Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit and Trumbull counties in Ohio, plus two counties in Pennsylvania.
For these two disaster designations, farmers in eligible counties have until May 6 to apply for an emergency loss loan to help cover part or all of their actual losses. The Farm Service Agency will consider each loan application on its own merits taking into account the extent of the losses, security available and repayment ability.
The disaster designations makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. The assistance includes Farm Service Agency emergency loans.
The basic eligibility requirements for FSA emergency loans are: The farm operation must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss in crop production because of the disaster in comparison to the previous three years production history.
The applicant must have operated land in a county that was designated a disaster area in the year of the disaster. The applicant must be an established family farm operator. The applicant must have an acceptable credit history.
The applicant must be unable to obtain credit from commercial sources. The applicant must have collateral to secure the proposed loan. The applicant must have the ability to repay the proposed loan.
Eligible farmers must have acceptable production records for the disaster year and the three previous years so FSA can reasonably calculate the percentage of lost production caused by the disaster.
FSA will calculate the percentage of lost production for each crop of the farm operation and the dollar loss for each crop. Then the total loss is determined for the dollar value of the production loss.
Any other disaster related compensation or insurance indemnities received or to be received by the applicant for the production loss will be subtracted from the dollar value of the production loss.
Examples of disaster related compensation are crop insurance payments and other disaster program payments for the designated disaster. Emergency loan funds can be used to restore essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, reorganize the farming operation, or refinance certain debts.
Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production losses to a maximum amount of $500,000.
Additional information on Farm Service Agency emergency loss loans can be obtained by contacting you local FSA office or farm loan team or from the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.
That’s all for now,
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