The USDA has designated LaGrange County, along with 44 other Indiana counties, as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred from July 1 through Oct. 18, 2011.
"Indiana Farm Service Agency (FSA) and its employees are committed to helping farmers navigate the multitude of programs that may be available in eligible counties," said FSA State Executive Director Julia Wickard. "The summer of 2011 will not be long forgotten by those producers and their families that were negatively impacted by severe dry weather. USDA is here to assist."
The counties were designated natural disaster areas on Jan. 27, 2012, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's FSA, 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.
USDA has also made other programs available to assist farmers, 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 (NAP). Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http:// disaster.fsa.usda.gov.