Search Our Site...


USDA declares eight parishes as disaster areas

November 24, 2010

USDA declares eight parishes as disaster areas 
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared all 75 counties in Arkansas as primary natural disaster areas and eight Louisiana parishes as contiguous natural disaster areas.
The declaration is the result of losses caused by drought, excessive heat and related insects and diseases that began April 1, 2010 and continues. Farmers in both primary and contiguous parishes may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
The eight contiguous parishes in Louisiana are Bossier, Claiborne, Morehouse, Webster, Caddo, East Carroll, Union and West Carroll.
Counties in Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas were also declared contiguous natural disaster areas.
Strain said much of the state has experienced lower than normal rainfall in 2010.
“Farmers and ranchers struggled with precipitation deficits and high temperatures for much of the spring and summer,” Strain said. “The assistance will provide much needed relief to producers.”
In addition to the drought disaster designation, Strain reminded producers who suffered losses due to wet weather during 2009’s harvest season to apply for a $550 million agricultural disaster relief program.
“Our Louisiana producers suffered substantial losses in 2009 due to the wet weather during harvest season,” Strain said. “We’re grateful that this aid is available.”
Among the eligible crops are upland cotton, rice, soybeans and sweet potatoes in USDA Secretary of Agriculture-designated disaster areas damaged by high precipitation or moisture conditions, Strain said.
Producers who suffered at least a five percent loss in 2009 will receive an amount based on a pre-determined payment rate multiplied by the actual planted acreage (or acreage that would have been planted) on file with the Farm Service Agency.
Strain urged all producers who may be eligible for the programs to contact their local Farm Service Agency office for further information. Farmers and ranchers in eligible parishes have eight months from the disaster declaration date to apply for the loans.For additional information, visit