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Emergency loans available through FSA

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Farm Service Agency recently announced the availability of emergency loans to farmers in Bourbon County.

According to a news release, farmers in Bourbon County who suffered crop or livestock losses due to a continuing drought that began Nov. 15, 2012, may now apply for FSA emergency loans.

Bourbon County became eligible under existing legislation which provides that farmers in counties bordering on those which have been designated for disaster assistance, may also qualify for assistance, the release said.

Applications for assistance will be accepted by the FSA until Sept. 9.

"Loans covering physical and/or production losses are scheduled for repayment as rapidly as feasible, consistent with the applicant's reasonable ability to pay," FSA Farm Loan Manager Robert E. White said in the release.

The current interest rate is 2.250 percent, but is subject to monthly changes until the loan is approved, the release said.

FSA's Farm Loan Program staff is committed to new and existing customers, FSA customer goals and rural communities. The agency's service extends beyond the typical loan, offering FSA customers ongoing consultation, advice and creative ways to make a farm business thrive, the release said.

"At the Farm Service Agency, we want to be your lender of first opportunity to overcome these adverse weather conditions and rebuild your operation to get back on track," the release said.

FSA's loan staff can refer customers to other public and commercial financing sources that can serve as a blend with FSA's farm loan programs.

FSA loans covering physical losses may be used to replace installations, equipment, livestock, or buildings (including homes), lost through this disaster, the release said.

Loans covering production losses may be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, or to make payments on real estate and chattel debts, the release said.

"Funds can also be used for other essential operating and living expenses," White said.

To be eligible for an emergency disaster loan, an applicant must be operating a family size farm or ranch, must be unable to get credit elsewhere and must have suffered a qualifying physical and/or production loss from the disaster, the release said.

Farmers who suffered at least a 30 percent reduction to at least one cropping enterprise may have a qualifying production loss. Emergency disaster production loss loans cover 100 percent of qualifying losses, the release said.

Farmers and ranchers who think they may be eligible should contact the FSA County Office in Girard at (620) 724-6227 for additional information on how to apply.

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