Deadline extended to June ’08 for Farm Service Agency emergency loan applications

From Staff Reports

Sept 18, 2007 - Applications for emergency farm loans for losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred from June 16 through Aug. 3 are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency office in Sulphur Springs.

Hopkins County, along with Delta, Wood, Rains and all surrounding counties, have been designated as disaster counties in various disaster determinations recently named by President George Bush.

Farmers can be eligible for loans to cover part of actual production losses and physical losses resulting from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding.

According to Ellis Dicus with the FSA office in Sulphur Springs, farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100 percent 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 3.75 percent.

As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of production to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan, according to Dicus. Farmers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program must consider proceeds from those programs in determining their loss.

The deadline to apply for loans under this emergency designation has been extended to June 16, 2008. Farms should apply as soon as possible, however, as delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season.

The FSA office in Sulphur Springs is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The office is located at 530 Hillcrest Drive (also known as the west loop), north of State Highway 11. The telephone number is 903-885-1574.

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