Farm Service Agency (FSA) O’Neill Office announced that family farmers in 53 Nebraska counties, who suffered physical or production losses due to severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred on June 1, 2010 and continuing may be eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Emergency (EM) loans. The counties named are: Antelope, Cass, Dodge, Hayes, Loup, Otoe, Sarpy, Washington, Arthur, Chase, Douglas, Holt, Madison, Perkins, Saunders, Wayne, Blaine, Cherry, Frontier, Howard, McPherson, Phelps, Sherman, Webster, Boone, Cheyenne, Garden, Keya Paha, Morrill, Pierce, Sioux, Wheeler, Boyd, Colfax, Garfield, Knox, Nance, Platte, Stanton, Brown, Cuming, Greeley, Lincoln, Nemaha, Richardson, Thomas, Burt, Custer, Harlan, Logan, Nuckolls, Rock and Valley.
The following 35 Nebraska counties also became eligible for this assistance because they are contiguous to one or more of the primary Nebraska counties that were declared a Presidential Major Disaster on July 15, 2010 by President Obama due to this disaster. These counties are: Adams, Cedar, Dixon, Gage, Hooker, Lancaster, Scotts Bluff, Banner, Clay, Dundy, Gosper, Johnson, Merrick, Seward, Box Butte, Dawes, Fillmore, Grant, Kearney. Pawnee, Sheridan, Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Hall, Keith, Polk, Thayer, Butler, Deuel, Furnas, Hitchcock, Kimball, Red Willow and Thurston.
Family farmers interested in finding out if they are eligible should contact either Monte Fletcher or Doug Steffen for information. They can be reached Monday through Friday between 8:00 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. at the Farm Service Agency, 107 E. Highway 20, Suite C, O’Neill, NE 68763 or call (402) 336-3796 ext. 2
Emergency loan applications are available and must be submitted through the local FSA county office from any applicant who qualifies for a physical or production loss (at least a 30 percent reduction from normal) in a single enterprise from this disaster in the counties. To qualify for an EM loan, an applicant must be an established family farm operator; provide evidence of having suffered a qualifying physical or production loss; be unable to obtain suitable credit from a source other than FSA. The low interest loans may cover up to 100 percent of their actual production losses, up to a maximum amount of $500,000. The applicants must show ability to repay the loan and the loan must be adequately secured. FSA loans for production losses may be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock, or to refinance certain debts. FSA loans for physical losses may be used to repair or replace the property that was damaged or lost. The current interest rate for EM loans is 3.75%.
The deadline for submitting application is March 15, 2011.
In addition to the Emergency (EM) Loan Program, FSA has other Direct and Guaranteed Farm Operating and Farm Ownership Loan Programs, which can be considered in assisting farmers to recover from their losses. Additional information about FSA Farm Loan Programs is available at www.ffsa.usda.gov/dafl.