USDA Farm Service Agency now accepting emergency farm loan applications

Aug. 10, 2012 at 3:10 a.m.

Wharton's Farm Service Agency office is now accepting applications for emergency farm loans for losses caused by drought.

Wharton, Jackson, Matagorda, Calhoun and Victoria counties are among the 252 Texas counties Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack named eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and physical losses, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency news release.

Farmers may be eligible for loans up to 100 percent of actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue the agricultural business, whichever is less, Gail A. Hoskins, farm loan manager with the Wharton office, said in the release.

For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the current interest rate is 2.25 percent.

Generally, farmers 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 the disaster designation, Hoskins said.

Those participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program must consider proceeds from those programs when determining their production loss. Any insurance proceeds producers received as a result of the physical loss must also be considered in determining total loss.

Applications will be accepted through March 12, Hoskins said, although she encouraged producers to apply as soon as possible.

"Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season," Hoskins said in the release.

Wharton's Farm Service Agency office is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on disaster assistance programs, call the FSA office at 979-532-0567, or visit the FSA website.



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