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USDA Designates Natural Disaster Areas

October 1, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (Oct. 1, 2015) – Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared Natchitoches Parish a primary natural disaster area due to a recent drought.

In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas were named as contiguous disaster parishes. They are: Bienville, Desoto, Grant, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, Vernon and Winn.

Strain said farmers and ranchers located in both primary and contiguous parishes are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have 8 months from the disaster declaration date, Sept. 30, 2015, to apply for the emergency loans.

“Our farmers and ranchers face great challenges with every seed they sow and animal they nurture all for the purpose of providing food and fiber for people like you and me,” Strain said. “This assistance will provide much needed relief to producers.”

Strain urged farmers and ranchers who may be eligible to contact their local parish FSA office for further information. Additional information is also available online at