USDA has granted disaster declarations to 14 flooded Nebraska counties in the Missouri River Basin. Lincoln County has received the designation.
Dan Steinkruger, Farm Service Agency state executive director in Nebraska, says the approval came under the Secretarial Disaster Declaration.
"This action opens all USDA emergency programs to corn, soybeans, wheat, forage crops, and livestock producers who suffered losses, including physical losses this spring and summer due to flooding that occurred on May 1, 2011 and continuing," Steinkruger says.
The eligible counties named are: Boyd, Burt, Cass, Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Douglas, Knox, Lincoln, Nemaha, Otoe, Richardson, Sarpy, Thurston and Washington.
In addition, producers in contiguous Nebraska counties who suffered losses may be eligible to utilize emergency programs. These contiguous counties are: Antelope, Cuming, Custer, Dawson, Dodge, Frontier, Gage, Hayes, Holt, Johnson, Keya Paha, Keith, Lancaster, Logan, McPherson, Pawnee, Perkins, Pierce, Rock, Saunders and Wayne.
These counties were designated natural disaster areas July 18, 2011, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
The deadline for submitting applications is March 19, 2012. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
USDA also had made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, which was approved as part of the Food Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Emergency Livestock Assistance Program, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers should 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 http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.