Applications for emergency farm loans for losses and damages caused by drought are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Vernon.
Archer, Baylor, Clay, Jack, Knox, Montague, Wichita, Wilbarger and Wise counties were recently named by the secretary of agriculture to be eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and/or physical losses resulting from drought starting Nov. 1, 2013, and continuing.
FSA Farm Loan Manager Kelley R. Boone said 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. For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest rate is 3.75 percent.
“As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of production to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan,” Boone said.
Farmers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program will have to consider proceeds from those programs in determining their loss.
“Applications for loans under this emergency designation will be accepted until Sept. 15, 2014, but farmers should apply as soon as possible,” he said. “Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season.”
FSA is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is authorized to provide disaster emergency loans to recognized farmers who work at and rely on farming for a substantial part of their living. Eligibility is extended to individual farmers who meet U.S. citizenship requirements and to farming partnerships, corporations or cooperatives in which U.S. citizenship requirements are met by individuals holding a majority interest.
Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.