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USDA designates 36 Mississippi counties as a primary natural disaster area

Administrator Zach Ducheneaux designated 36 counties in the State of Mississippi as the primary natural disaster area. Producers in Adams, Amite, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Coahoma, Copiah, Covington, Franklin, Holmes, Itawamba, Jones, Lee, Lincoln, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Neshoba, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pike, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Simpson, Tippah, Union, Webster, Wilkinson, Winston and Yazoo counties who suffered physical damage and losses caused by a winter storm, excessive snow, excessive ice, freeze, high winds, hail, and excessive rain that occurred Feb. 15, through Feb. 18, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous Mississippi counties of Alcorn, Claiborne, DeSoto, Forrest, Grenada, Hinds, Humphreys, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Kemper, Lafayette, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Leake, Leflore, Madison, Newton, Noxubee, Perry, Quitman, Rankin, Sharkey, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Tate, Tishomingo, Tunica, Walthall, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Yalobusha are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Jan. 10, 2022.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at https://www.farmers.gov/recover.