The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 23 counties in Missouri as primary natural disaster areas after historic flooding along with excessive rain and high winds caused severe agricultural damage as well as losses to wheat, forage, corn, cotton, rice and soybeans. USDA reports that since April 1, flooding has caused crop losses of 30% or more in the 23 counties.
Farmers in the counties as well as neighboring counties in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky are now eligible for low interest emergency loans and other program benefits from the USDA Farm Service Agency.
The Missouri counties designated primary disaster areas are: Bollinger, Gasconade, New Madrid, Reynolds, Butler, Hickory, Oregon, Ripley, Camden, Howell, Osage, Scott, Cape Girardeau, Laclede, Pemiscot, Ste. Genevieve, Dunklin, Maries, Perry, Stoddard, Franklin, Mississippi and Pulaski.
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Missouri also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous:
Benton, Douglas, Ozark, St. Louis, Callaway, Iron, Phelps, Texas, Carter Jefferson, Polk, Warren, Cole, Madison, Shannon, Washington, Crawford, Miller, St. Charles, Wayne, Dallas, Montgomery, St. Clair, Webster, Dent, Morgan, St. Francois and Wright.
Source: Missouri USDA Farm Service Agency office