2011-04-28 / Front Page

Lee County Farmers Eligible for Disaster Loans

John Schoenemann, County Executive Director of the Lee County Farm Services Agency in Giddings, reported this week that Lee County has received a disaster designation that was generated by the Lee County Emergency Board, County Judge and the Governor’s Office. Lee County is one of seven counties in Texas recently named by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack eligible for loans to cover part of actual production losses resulting from drought occurring from October 1, 2010 and continuing into this year.

Barbara L. Kelley, Farm Loan Manager, said farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100 percent of their actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue in business, whichever is less. For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest is 3.75 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,” Kelley said. Farmers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance program will have to figure in proceeds from those programs in determining their loss.

“Applications for loans under this emergency designation will be accepted until December 5, 2011, but farmers should apply as soon as possible. Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing and possibly over into the new farming season,” Kelley said.

FSA is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 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 are U.S. citizens and to farming partnerships, corporations or cooperatives in which U. S. citizens hold a majority interest.

Applications for emergency farm loans for losses caused by drought occurring from October 1, 2010 and continuing are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency office located in Gonzales, Texas. The FSA office in Gonzales is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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