Local agriculture producers who suffered losses due to recent drought may be eligible for federal assistance through emergency loans.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated five Texas counties as primary natural disaster areas; among those are Austin, Colorado, and Fayette Counties. This natural disaster designation allows the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters.
While not designated primary natural disaster areas, producers in Lavaca, Lee, Waller, and Washington Counties are also eligible to apply for emergency loans. They can be used to meet various recovery needs, including the replacement of essential items like equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or refinancing debts.
The deadline to apply for emergency loans is September 14th. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.
Assistance is also available through FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration, including: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.
A listing of all disaster designations can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov. For additional information, including eligibility requirements and application procedures, visit www.farmers.gov/recover, or contact your local USDA service center.