WASHINGTON, March 22, 2017 — In response to a request from Clayton Parr, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Arkansas, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated nine counties in Arkansas as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:


Baxter Marion Stone


Fulton Pope Van Buren


Izard Searcy Yell


Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Arkansas also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:


Boone Independence Newton


Cleburne Johnson Perry


Conway Logan Scott


Faulkner Montgomery Sharp


Garland


Farmers and ranchers in Howell, Oregon, Ozark and Taney counties in Missouri also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.


All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on March 22, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, 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.


Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers 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.


FSA provides support for rural America’s economic growth, job creation and development; and provides local, personal service to millions of rural producers through their nationwide network of over 2,100 local and regional offices. In fiscal year 2016, FSA provided close to 40,000 direct and guaranteed loans to producers totaling over $6 billion, including over $2.6 billion to the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Through the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs, FSA provided over $5.3 billion to assist crop producers affected by adverse weather and/or market forces in crop year 2014. In addition, over $650 million of critical support was provided to producers experiencing livestock, forage and other losses caused by floods, drought and other disasters. FSA also provided financial protection to half the nation’s dairies through the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, interim financing at harvest time and safe storage for producers; and inspected over 3,000 licensed public warehouses, provided critical food assistance, and partnered with states and organizations to support production of American-made renewable fuel. Additionally, through the Conservation Reserve Program, FSA encouraged conservation of sensitive lands and worked with nonprofit agencies to enhance wildlife through habitat improvement.


FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov via the “Newsroom” link.