More than half of Mississippi declared an agricultural disaster area because of unusual weather

Published 5:27 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named 46 Mississippi counties primary natural disaster areas because of freezing, flooding, flash flooding and excessive rain.

Producers who had losses from those causes since Jan. 15 may be eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

Farmers and ranchers in adjacent counties can also apply. There are 33 such counties in Mississippi, eight in Alabama, four in Arkansas, eight in Louisiana and five in Tennessee.

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Emergency loans can be used for replacing equipment or livestock, reorganizing a farming operation, refinance certain debts, and other recovery needs.

The application deadline is April 7, 2020.

The agency has a number of other emergency programs that don’t require a disaster declaration.

The Mississippi counties with the primary natural disaster designation include Adams, Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Carroll, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Claiborne, Clay, Covington, Forrest, Grenada, Harrison, Holmes, Humphreys, Issaquena, Itawamba, Jefferson, Lamar, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Oktibbeha, Pearl River, Perry, Pontotoc, Sharkey, Stone, Tippah, Tishominogo, Tunica, Union, Walthall, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wilkinson, Winston, Yalobusha and Yazoo.

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 Mississippi counties of Amite, Attala, Bolivar, Clarke, Coahoma, Copiah, DeSoto, Franklin, George, Greene, Hancock, Hinds, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Kemper, Lafayette, Lawrence, Leake, Lincoln, Madison, Neshoba, Noxubee, Panola, Pike, Prentiss, Quitman, Simpson, Smith, Sunflower, Tallahatchie and Tate, along with Choctaw, Colbert, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Pickens and Washington counties in Alabama; Chicot, Crittenden, Lee and Phillips counties in Arkansas; Concordia, East Carroll, East Feliciana, Madison, St. Tammany, Tensas, Washington and West Feliciana parishes in Louisiana; and Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy and Shelby counties in Tennessee, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.