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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated six Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Producers who suffered losses due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

These natural disaster designations allow the agency to extend 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.

The designated disasters include:

  • Excessive moisture and cold temperatures, April 10-May 30: Producers in Lawrence and Washington counties who suffered losses due to excessive moisture and cold temperatures that occurred April 10 through May 30 may be eligible for emergency loans. Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, and Scioto, along with Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky and Cabell, Pleasants, Tyler, Wayne and Wood counties in West Virginia, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.
  • Excessive rain and cold temperatures, April 10-May 30: Producers in Gallia and Meigs counties who suffered losses due to excessive rain and cold temperatures that occurred April 10 through May 30 may be eligible for emergency loans. Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties of Athens, Jackson, Lawrence, and Vinton, along with Cabell, Jackson, Mason, and Wood counties in West Virginia, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 12, 2021. The Farm Service Agency will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

The agency has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. 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 farmers.gov/recover.

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