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Sonny Perdue. Photo by USDA.

USDA designates 14 Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 14 Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers in Adams, Belmont, Champaign, Clark, Guernsey, Highland, Madison, Miami, Monroe, Noble, Portage, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull counties who suffered losses due to excessive rain and flooding that occurred from Jan. 1 through Sept. 4, 2019, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous Ohio counties Ashtabula, Brown, Carroll, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Fayette, Franklin, Geauga, Greene, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Logan, Mahoning, Medina, Montgomery, Morgan, Muskingum, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Tuscarawas, Union, Washington, and Wayne, along with Lewis and Mason counties in Kentucky; Crawford and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania; and Marshall, Ohio, Tyler, and Wetzel counties in West Virginia, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is June 3, 2020.

The Secretary previously announced several Ohio counties as primary natural disaster areas. A listing of all disaster designations can be found at fsa.usda.gov.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

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