Missouri Farmers Eligible for Federal Aid Programs
COLUMBIA - Missouri farmers are now eligible for emergency loans and several federal financial aid programs following the labeling of 114 counties as disaster areas. Farmers have eight months from the declaration of a disaster zone to apply for the financial aid programs.
Farmers can apply for low-interest emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency, which can be used several ways if approved. The loans can be used to:
- Restore or replace essential property
- Pay all or part of production costs from the disaster year
- Pay for essential family living expenses
- Reorganize a farming operation
- Refinance certain debts
One of the federal programs available to farmers is the Emergency Conservation Program. The program provides funding and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farm land hit hard by natural disasters. The program also helps to carry out emergency water conservation in periods of severe drought.
For the farm land to be eligible, the natural disaster must have caused conservation programs that, if untreated:
- Impair or endanger the land
- Materially affect the land's productive capacity
- Represent unusual damage which, except for wind erosion, is not the type likely to frequently occur in the same area
- Be so costly to repair that federal assistance is or will be needed to return the land to productive agricultural use
The Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program is another program available to farmers. The program provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory or prevented planting occurs due to natural disasters.