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USDA issues disaster declaration

Sunday, February 12, 2012

USDA Farm Service Agency in Indiana Executive Director Julia A. Wickard
INDIANAPOLIS -- USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Indiana Executive Director Julia A. Wickard recently announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 45 counties in the state as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that took place from July 1, 2011, through Oct. 18, 2011.

The counties include Clay. Other counties are Allen, Brown, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Fayette, Fountain, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hendricks, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, LaGrange, Marion, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Shelby, Spencer, Sullivan, Switzerland, Union, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warrick, Washington, Wayne and Wells.

"Indiana FSA and its employees are committed to helping farmers navigate the multitude of programs that may be available in eligible counties," Wickard said. "The summer of 2011 will not be long forgotten by those producers and their families that were negatively impacted by severe dry weather. USDA is here to assist."

Farm operators in the following counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous to the designated counties. The counties include Adams, Bartholomew, Blackford, Boone, Clark, Crawford, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Floyd, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Kosciusko, Lawrence, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Rush, Scott, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vanderburgh, Warren and Whitley.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Jan. 27, 2012, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met.

Farmers in eligible counties 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.

USDA has also made other programs available to assist farmers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP); Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility and application procedures for the other programs.

Additional information is also available at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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