Disaster declaration could help area farmers recover from bad weather during 2018

WTAP U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has designated Wood and 11 other West Virginia counties as primary natural disaster areas because excessive rain and flooding in 2018.

The designation means producers in those counties who suffered losses caused by the combined effects of excessive rain, flash flooding, flooding, Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael, between April 1 and Dec. 31 may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

Besides Wood, the other counties are Braxton, Calhoun, Clay, Jackson, Mason, Nicholas, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Webster and Wirt.

The disaster designation allows the FSA to extend emergency credit to affected producers. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganizing farming operations or refinancing of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous West Virginia counties of Cabell, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lewis, Pocahontas, Putnam, Randolph, Tyler and Upshur, along with Athens, Gallia, Meigs and Washington counites in Ohio, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The application deadline is Dec. 10.

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

The FSA has a variety of other programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. 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 https://www.farmers.gov/recover.