County designated eligible for federal disaster assistance

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, October 20, 2011

Because Pearl River County is contiguous to a primary area declared a natural disaster area by the federal government, the county has been “designated eligible for Federal Disaster assistance,” said Jackie D. Williams, county Farm Service Agency farm loan manager.

Said Williams, “Emergency loans for farmers, ranchers, and operators are available through the Pearl River-Hancock-Harrison County office of the Farm Service Agency.

Applications for assistance in the disaster-stricken county will be accepted by FSA through June 13.

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Williams said the authority is pursuant to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom  Vilsack’s declaration on Oct. 13 of a major disaster in Louisiana, caused by the combined effects of severe storms, tornadoes, severe spring flooding, Tropical Storm Lee, widespread drought, and excessive heat that began on Jan. 1 and continued.

Farmers qualifying for emergency loans may borrow up to 100 percent of their actual production loss or the amount needed to restore their operation to its pre-disaster condition, whichever is less, said Williams.

The new emergency loan and outstanding principal balance of any existing emergency loan owed by the applicant, or any individual member of an entity, cannot exceed $500,000, Williams added.

FSA emergency loans cover losses from designated disasters and are made to qualified farmers who cannot obtain credit from other lenders in the local area.