Secretary of Agriculture Designates 97 Missouri Counties Disaster Due to Drought

The Secretary of Agriculture has now designated 97 Missouri counties as primary agricultural natural disaster areas making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in the counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), in addition to other disaster programs.

Christian, Douglas, Howell, Texas and Wright counties are included in the 97 primary counties included in this announcement. The complete list of counties is listed below.

In addition to the 97 primary disaster counties, eight counties and the Independent City of St. Louis were designated as contiguous natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought and excessive heat which occurred April 1, and continuing.

Producers in contiguous counties may also be eligible for programs based on this designation. The contiguous counties are: Bates, Carter, Madison, Ozark, Perry, Ripley, Taney and Wayne.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 17, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, 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.

Loans for physical losses must be used to replace or repair damage to buildings, fences or to compensate the farmer for losses of basic livestock, stored crops, or supplies on hand, equipment, etc., that was lost due to the disaster, Loans for production losses may also be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock or to make payments on real estate or chattel debts. Generally, loans for production losses cannot be approved until crops have completed their production cycle or have been harvested.

In order to qualify, a farmer must have suffered a 30% loss in production or an actual physical loss that was essential to the successful operation of the farm.

USDA also has made a variety of other programs available to assist farmers in recovering from the disaster, 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.

Interested farmers may contact the Texas County FSA office at (417) 967-2028 for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs or visit www.fsa.

The 97 counties designated as primary agricultural natural disaster areas include: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barry, Barton, Benton, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton.

Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Daviess, DeKalb, Dent, Douglas, Franklin, Gasconade, Gentry, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Hickory, Holt, Howard, Howell.

Iron, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Laclede, Lafayette, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, McDonald, Macon, Maries, Marion, Mercer, Miller, Moniteau.

Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Nodaway, Oregon, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pike, Platte, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Reynolds, St. Charles, St. Clair.

Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, Stone, Sullivan, Texas, Vernon, Warren, Washington, Webster, Worth, Wright.

Governor Jay Nixon has requested that all 114 counties of Missouri be declared a disaster area due to the extended heat and drought.