NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 15 counties in Tennessee as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by severe storms, tornadoes, winds and flooding that began April 23 and continues.
Mississippi farmers and ranchers in Alcorn, Benton, DeSoto, Marshall, Tippah and Tishomingo counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous to the primary disaster area.
All counties were designated natural disaster areas July 24, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), 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. 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.