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USDA announces flood-hit Mid-South counties eligible for assistance

Michael B. Thomas/GettyImages Floodwaters in Fenton, Mo.
Floodwater in Fenton, Missouri, on May 4, 2017. Towns along the Meramec River brace for the river to crest after days of rainfall in the region.
Farmers and ranchers now have eight months to apply for government-backed loans

Following massive April rains and subsequent flooding, the USDA has said 23 Arkansas counties are “primary disaster areas.” The designation of the counties is “due to losses and damages caused by excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, hail, high winds and lightning.”

University of Arkansas economists estimate the flooding, which hit some 360,000 acres, will result in $175 million in losses.

The counties declared disaster areas include: Boone, Jackson, Poinsett, Carroll, Lawrence, Prairie, Clay, Lonoke, Pulaski, Conway, Madison, Randolph, Craighead, Mississippi, St. Francis, Faulkner, Monroe, White, Greene, Newton, Woodruff, Independence, and Perry.

Contiguous counties eligible for disaster assistance include:  Arkansas, Grant, Saline, Benton, Izard, Searcy, Cleburne, Jefferson, Sharp, Crawford, Johnson, Stone, Crittenden, Lee, Van Buren, Cross, Marion, Washington, Franklin, Phillips, Yell, Garland, and Pope.

The following disaster-hit counties in Missouri are also eligible for assistance: Barry, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Stone, Butler, Oregon, Ripley, and Taney.

Eligible counties in Tennessee include: Dyer, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton.

According to the USDA, all counties listed “were designated natural disaster areas on May 24, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, 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.

“Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.”

Additional information is also available online at

TAGS: Weather
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