Emergency drought loan applications being accepted
Applications for emergency farm loans for losses caused by drought since Jan. 1 are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency office in Tyler.
Anderson, Cherokee, Gregg, Henderson, Rusk, Smith, Upshur and Van Zandt counties are eight of 254 in Texas recently named by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and/or physical losses resulting from the drought.
Farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100 percent of their actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue the agricultural business, whichever is less, spokeswoman Michelle King said in a prepared statement. For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest rate is 2.25 percent.
"As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least 30 percent loss of crop production or suffered any physical loss to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan under this disaster designation," she said. "Producers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program will have to consider the proceeds from those programs in determining their production loss. Additionally, any insurance proceeds received by producers as a result of the physical loss will have to be considered in determining their total loss."
Applications for the emergency loans will be accepted through March 12, but farmers should apply as soon as possible, Ms. King said.
FSA is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is authorized to provide disaster emergency loans to recognized farmers who work at and rely on farming for a substantial part of their living. The Tyler FSA office, at 4209 Republic Drive, is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov