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Every county in Missouri has received a 2012 Secretarial Disaster Declaration for drought, 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.

Map of 2012 Secretarial Disaster Declarations

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.

Loans for physical losses must be used to replace or repair damage to buildings, fences or to compensate the farmer for losses of basic livestock, stored crops, or supplies on hand, equipment, etc., that was lost due to the disaster. Loans for production losses may also be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock or to make payments on real estate or chattel debts. Generally, loans for production losses cannot be approved until crops have completed their production cycle or have been harvested.

In order to qualify, a farmer must have suffered a 30% loss in production or an actual physical loss that was essential to the successful operation of the farm. Applicants must also be unable to obtain credit elsewhere. You will need to know what your total production is for 2012 in order to calculate your loss. Therefore, crop producers will need to wait until those calculations are completed before applying. Livestock producers can apply now.

But remember that you must apply within 8 months of the disaster declaration. To apply, contact your local FSA office to schedule an appointment with a farm loan officer.
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