USDA Declares 22 Iowa Counties Disaster Areas

USDA Declares 22 Iowa Counties Disaster Areas

Natural disaster designation makes FSA low-interest loans available to eligible farmers if they need it.

Farmers in 22 Iowa counties may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA. The counties are part of a natural disaster declaration announced by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on April 11, 2013. These counties are designated because of frost damage to crops that occurred in spring 2012 and the severe drought that hit last summer and continued into 2013.

LOW-INTEREST EMERGENCY LOANS: USDA has designated 22 counties in Iowa as part of a Secretarial Natural Disaster Declaration due to frost damage to crops last spring and to the drought of 2012 that has continued into 2013. 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 from USDA's Farm Service Agency.

"Farm operators in these counties that have the Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation, who have suffered major production and/or physical losses caused by combined effects of freezing temperatures and continuing drought conditions, may be eligible for the low-interest emergency loans," explains John Whitaker, state executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in Iowa.

The Secretarial Natural Disaster Designation has been issued for the following counties and conditions: |
*
Three Minnesota counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to freezing temperatures April 9, 2012 through April 11, 2012. And five counties in Iowa border those Minnesota counties. So these five Iowa counties, since they are contiguous to this designated disaster area, makes these Iowa farmers also potentially eligible for the low-interest loan program based on this designation.

The contiguous counties in Iowa are: Dickinson, Emmet, Howard, Osceola and Winneshiek. The final date for making a loan application with FSA under this designation is August 5, 2013.   

* Thirty-one Missouri counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions beginning November 1, 2012 and continuing into 2013.  Five Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for the low-interest loan program based on this designation. The contiguous counties are:  Decatur, Fremont, Page, Ringgold and Taylor. The final date for making an application to FSA under this designation is September 9, 2013.

Post-Drought Livestock, Range And Pasture Insight. No single group of producers has been more impacted by the 2012 drought than those who raise livestock. Download our FREE report, 5 Post-Drought Strategies For A Better 2013.

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* Kossuth County in Iowa has been designated as a primary disaster area for drought conditions. Seven 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: Emmet, Hancock, Humboldt, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Winnebago and Wright. The final date for making application to FSA under this designation is November 20, 2013.   

* Eighty-nine Nebraska counties have been designated as the primary disaster area due to drought conditions. Six Iowa counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for programs based on this designation. The contiguous counties are: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury. The final date for making application to FSA under this designation is December 10, 2013.   

FSA can make emergency loans to eligible family farmers if they had qualifying losses
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.

Examples of property commonly affected include; essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops. For production loss loans, the disaster yield must be at least 30% below the normal production yield of the crop, on a crop or crops that make up a basic part of the total farming operation.

Post-Drought Livestock, Range And Pasture Insight. No single group of producers has been more impacted by the 2012 drought than those who raise livestock. Download our FREE report, 5 Post-Drought Strategies For A Better 2013.

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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%.  Each applicant applying for credit will be given equal consideration without regard to race, creed, color, marital status or national origin. 

The repayment for most disaster loans are based on the useful life of the security, the applicant's repayment ability, and the type of loss. If the loan is secured only on crops, it must be repaid when the next crop year's income is received.  Loans to replace fixtures to real estate may be scheduled for repayment for up to 40 years. 

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 online.

Iowa Gov. Branstad issues disaster proclamation for 10 Iowa counties
Also this past week, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency in response to severe weather that impacted 10 counties in northwest Iowa in early April 2013. Counties included in the proclamation are Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Sioux. Beginning April 9, damaging winds, heavy rains, thunderstorms and freezing rains caused damage to public and private property, power outages from downed powerlines and poles, and created a large amount of debris.

The Iowa Governor's proclamation allows state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms, including for removal of debris and wreckage on publicly or privately owned land that may threaten public health and safety, or public and private property. A copy of the proclamation of disaster emergency can be found here.

TAGS: USDA
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