NEW ORLEANS (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated nine Louisiana parishes as a disaster area because of rains and flooding from Sept. 1 through Dec. 10.
Farmers and ranchers in dozens of adjacent parishes in Louisiana and counties in Arkansas and Texas also can apply for Farm Service Agency emergency loans.
Such loans can be used to replace essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganize a farming operation or refinance some debts, according to a news release emailed Friday.
Bossier, Caddo, Evangeline, Grant, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupee, Rapides and Red River parishes are primary disaster areas. Farmers in 31 adjacent parishes and counties in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas can also apply for emergency loans.
The 22 contiguous parishes are Acadia, Allen, Avoyelles, Bienville, Concordia, De Soto, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, LaSalle, Ouachita, Richland, Sabine, St. Landry, St. Martin, Union, Vernon, Webster, West Baton Rouge, West Carroll, West Feliciana and Winn. Adjacent counties are Ashley, Chicot, Lafayette, Miller and Union counties in Arkansas, and Cass, Harrison, Marion and Panola counties in Texas.
The application deadline is Oct. 15. The Farm Service Agency will consider the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Other FSA programs don’t require a disaster declaration. Those include the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; the Emergency Conservation Program; the Livestock Forage Disaster Program; the Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.