Thursday, October 27

USDA Designates Louisiana a Primary Natural Disaster Area

Baton Rouge — On Oct. 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated all 64 parishes of Louisiana as natural disaster areas due to the combined effects of severe storms, tornadoes, severe spring flooding, Tropical Storm Lee, widespread drought and excessive heat that began Jan. 1, 2011, and continues.

 This designation provides emergency farm loans to help producers recover from production and physical losses due to natural disasters. Interested farmers may contact their parish Farm Service Agency (FSA) Office for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for this loan program. Loan applications will be received through June 2012.

“Louisiana producers can continue to count on USDA to provide emergency assistance during difficult times,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow and out-compete the rest of the world. President Obama and I are committed to using the resources at our disposal to reduce the impact of Tropical Storm Lee and other disasters affecting Louisiana producers and help to get those affected back on their feet.”

All parishes designated natural disaster areas are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merit, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

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Bridget Udoh
(225) 771-5714

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