Bossier Parish included in USDA natural disaster area for drought

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 25 Louisiana parishes as primary natural disaster areas because of a recent drought, said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

According to the U.S Drought Monitor, these parishes suffered from a drought during the growing season. As a result, some Louisiana farmers could be eligible for assistance.

The parishes included in the primary disaster designation areas are: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, DeSoto, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Sabine, Tensas, Union, Webster, West Carroll, and Winn.

Contiguous parishes include: Avoyelles, Concordia, Rapides and Vernon.

Strain said agriculture producers in these parishes are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas 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 merits, 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.

Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.