Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently declared Cameron, Grant, Natchitoches and Rapides parishes as primary natural disaster areas due to damages caused by flooding from Hurricane Harvey that occurred from Aug. 26 through Oct. 10, 2017.
In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas were named as contiguous disaster areas. They are: Allen, Avoyelles, Bienville, Calcasieu, DeSoto, Evangeline, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Red River, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.
Strain said a Secretarial disaster designation makes farmers and ranchers located in both primary and contiguous parishes eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have 8 months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.
Contiguous counties were also declared in Texas.
“Our farmers and ranchers face great challenges with every season,” Strain said. “This assistance will provide needed relief to producers in the hope that they will remain in production for next year and many years to come.”
Strain urged farmers and ranchers who may be eligible to contact their local parish FSA office for further information. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.