The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated nine parishes in Louisiana as primary natural disaster areas because of excessive rain and flooding that occurred from September 1 through December 10, 2018. As a result, some Louisiana farmers could be eligible for assistance.
Farmers in Bossier, Caddo, Evangeline, Grant, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Rapides and Red River 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.
“Because unpredictable weather is unavoidable, we must have measures in place to help our agriculture producers sustain their businesses when bad weather conditions wreak havoc,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
These 21 Louisiana parishes are designated contiguous disaster areas as a result of damages and losses because of the rain: Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Bienville, Concordia, DeSoto, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Ouachita, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn.
Local FSA offices can provide affected farmers with further information.