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USDA Designates Natural Disaster Areas

July 22, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (July 22, 2015) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared these parishes primary natural disaster areas due to production losses caused by the combined effects of rain, flooding, high winds, and hail that occurred from April 27 through June 26, 2015. Those parishes are: Avoyelles, Bossier, Caddo, East Feliciana, Franklin, Grant, Iberville, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, Red River and West Baton Rouge.

In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, these additional areas are named as contiguous disaster parishes. Those parishes are: Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Bienville, Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, De Soto, East Baton Rouge, Evangeline, Iberia, La Salle, Madison, Richland, Sabine, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, Tensas, Vernon, Webster, West Feliciana and Winn.

A disaster designation makes farm operators in primary areas and those areas contiguous to primary areas eligible to be considered for certain assistance from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible parishes have eight months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for low interest emergency loans. FSA considers each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses on the farm, and the security and repayment ability of the operator.

Farmers and ranchers who have suffered severe losses may apply for emergency assistance with their local FSA Office.

“The recent flooding did a number on our agricultural community. Unpredictable weather is something that the farming community deals with on a regular basis. This assistance is necessary to help sustain the businesses of our agricultural producers,” said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

Emergency loans help producers recover from production and physical losses following a drought, flooding and other natural disasters or quarantine. As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of production to be eligible for a FSA emergency loan.

Additional programs may be available to assist farmers and ranchers in this area and they are encouraged to contact their local FSA Office or visit