January 17, 2008

Scotland County Eligible For USDA Emergency Farm Loans

Low interest disaster loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be available to producers in Scotland, Schuyler and Clark counties due to severe winter storms that occurred December 10th and December 11th, 2007.

Daryl L. Huchteman, Farm Loan Manager for the Knox-Scotland County FAS office said these counties are eligible for emergency loans because they are contiguous to one or more county that was declared a primary disaster area because of the December storms.

“The loans will help affected farmers recover from physical and production losses,” he said. “This designation makes farm operators eligible for low-interest loans from FSA provided eligibility requirements are met.”

The nine eligible Missouri counties are Atchison, Clark, Harrison, Mercer, Nowaday, Putnam, Schuyler, Scotland and Worth.

To be eligible for emergency loans, Huchteman said producers must have suffered at least a 30-percent loss in crop production or a physical loss to livestock, livestock products, real estate or chattel. They must also have an acceptable credit history, be able to provide collateral, be able to repay the loan and be unable to get credit from commercial sources.

Huchteman said eligible producers could borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000. Loans for crops, livestock, and non-real estate losses are usually repaid in one to seven years. Loans for physical losses to real estate are usually repaid in 30 years. The current interest rate for emergency loans is 3.75 percent.

“In considering loan applications, we look at each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability,” Huchteman said.

FSA emergency loans may be used to restore or replace essential property, pay production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation, and refinance certain debts.

Emergency loan applications will be accepted through September 4, 2008.

”Farmers who need help should contact the Knox County FSA staff for information on eligibility requirements and application procedures,” said Huchteman.

Information about the program is also available online at the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.

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