Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 45 Mississippi counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers who suffered losses due to the combined effects of freeze, excessive rainfall, flooding, and flash flooding that occurred since Jan. 15, 2019, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.
The Mississippi counties with the primary natural disaster designation include Adams, Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Claiborne, Clay, Covington, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Sharkey, Stone, Tippah, Tishominogo, Tunica, Union, Walthall, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wilkinson, Winston, Yalobusha, and Yazoo.
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 Mississippi counties of Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Clarke, Coahoma, Copiah, DeSoto, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Hinds, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Neshoba, Noxubee, Panola, Pike, Prentiss, Quitman, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, and Tate, along with Choctaw, Colbert, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Pickens, and Washington counties in Alabama; Chicot, Crittenden, Lee, and Phillips counties in Arkansas; Concordia, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Madison, St. Tammany, Tensas, Washington, and West Feliciana parishes in Louisiana; and Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy, and Shelby counties in Tennessee, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 7, 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.