Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio and Webb are 14 counties in Texas recently named by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack eligible for loans to cover part of actual production losses resulting from the drought Oct. 1, 2012, and continuing.
But for McMullen County, applications for emergency farm loans for damages and losses caused by drought from Feb. 5 and continuing are being accepted
Garza said farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100 percent of their actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue the agricultural business, whichever is less. For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest rate is 1.375 percent.
“As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of production to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan,” Garza said.
Farmers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program will have to consider proceeds from those programs in determining their loss.
“Applications for loans under this emergency designation will be accepted until Sept. 9, but farmers should apply as soon as possible. Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season,” Garza said.
McMullen County applications have until Dec. 3.
FSA is a credit agency of the USDA. It is authorized to provide disaster emergency loans to recognized farmers who work at and rely on farming for a substantial part of their living. Eligibility is extended to individual farmers who meet U.S. citizenship requirements and to farming partnerships, corporations, or cooperatives in which U.S. citizenship requirements are met by individuals holding a majority interest.
The FSA office in Alice is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.