Drought condition makes Pa. counties eligible for USDA emergency loans

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WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has named 58 counties in Pennsylvania as eligible for USDA emergency farm loans due to losses caused by very low precipitation during the summer of 2001.

“Low precipitation during the growing season causes many challenges for producers,” said Veneman. “These loans will help producers minimize the impact of production losses.”

This designation makes all qualified farm operators in primary and contiguous disaster counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Eight months. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of this declaration to apply for the 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 available, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Disaster counties. Eligible counties in western and central Pennsylvania include in the primary disaster area are Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Erie, Forest, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland. Also eligible because they are contiguous, are Crawford, Fayette, and Greene counties.

Interested farmers may contact their local FSA offices for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures. Additional information is also available online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/disaster/assistance1.htm

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