Louisiana Producers to Receive Assistance

Baton Rouge – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 counties in Arkansas as primary natural disaster areas because of excessive rain and flooding that occurred from November 1, 2015 through January 12, 2016. As a result, some Louisiana farmers could be eligible for assistance.

Farmers in Bossier and Caddo 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.

“Our farmers and ranchers often face unpredictable weather conditions that can threaten the industry. Because unpredictable weather is unavoidable, we must have measures in place to help our agriculture producers sustain these businesses when mother nature wreaks havoc,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

The 13 Arkansas counties that are designated disaster areas as a result of damages and losses because of the rain include: Cleburne, Conway, Crittenden, Cross, Faulkner, Izard, Miller, Perry, pope, Sebastian, Stone, Woodruff and Yell. The contiguous Arkansas counties are: Baxter, Crawford, Franklin, Fulton, Garland, Hempstead, Independence, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Lee, Little River, Logan, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, Montgomery, Newton, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, St. Francis, Saline, Scott, Searcy, Sharp, Van Buren and White.

Bossier and Caddo parishes are contiguous to these Arkansas counties that are impacted by the excessive rain and flooding.

Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.