USDA Announces 22 Iowa Counties as part of Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation

Ag/Outdoor, News

April 11th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State Executive Director for USDA Farm Service Agency, John R Whitaker, has announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 22 Iowa counties as part of a Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation.  Farm operators who have suffered major production and/or physical losses caused by combined effects of freezing temperatures and continuing drought conditions may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.  Other programs may also be made available to assist farmers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) due to this designation.

A Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation has been issued for the following counties:

  • Thirty-one Missouri counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions beginning November 1, 2012 and continuing. Five Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for program based on this designation.  The contiguous counties are:  Decatur, Fremont, Page, Ringgold, and Taylor.  The final date for making application under this designation is September 9, 2013.
  • Eighty-nine Nebraska counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions beginning April 2, 2013 and continuing.  Six Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for program based on this designation.  The contiguous counties are:  Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury.  The final date for making application under this designation is December 10, 2013.

The Farm Service Agency may make Emergency Loans to eligible family farmers which will enable them to return to their normal operations if they sustained qualifying losses resulting from natural disaster.  Physical loss loans may be made to eligible farmers to enable them to repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property, including livestock losses, essential to the success of the farming operation. For production loss loans, the disaster yield must be at least 30 percent below the normal production yield of the crop, on a crop or crops that make up a basic part of the total farming operation. Applicant must be unable to obtain credit from other usual sources to qualify for the Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Program assistance.  Interest rates are based on the date the loan is approved.  The current interest rate for emergency loans is 2.375%.

Interested farmers may contact their local County FSA office for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.  Information can also be found on-line at www.fsa.usda.gov.