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Farm Service Agency accepting applications for emergency farm loans

Applications for emergency farm loans for damages and losses caused by drought occurring March 3, 2020 and continuing are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency (FSA) office located in Edinburg, Karla L. Garza announced Tuesday.

Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy Counties are four of twenty-two counties in Texas recently named by Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and physical losses resulting from drought that occurred March 3, 2020 and continuing.

Karla L. Garza said farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100% of their actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue the agricultural business, whichever is less.  For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest rate is 3.375 percent.

“As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of crop production or suffered any physical loss to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan under this disaster designation”, Garza said.  Producers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program will have to consider proceeds from those programs in determining their production loss.  Additionally, any insurance proceeds received by producers as a result of the physical loss will have to be considered in determining their total loss.

“Applications for loans under this emergency designation will be accepted until

November 18, 2020 but farmers should apply as soon as possible.  Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season”, Garza said.

FSA is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  It is authorized to provide disaster emergency loans to recognized farmers who work at and rely on farming for a substantial part of their living.  Eligibility is extended to individual farmers who meet U.S. citizenship requirements and to farming partnerships, corporations, or cooperatives in which U.S. citizenship requirements are met by individuals holding a majority interest.

The FSA office in Edinburg is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Additional Information regarding Disaster Assistance Programs may be found online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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