The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Cleveland, Gaston and Rutherford counties as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.
Farmers and ranchers in Buncombe, Burke, Henderson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mecklenburg and Polk counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Sept. 23, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Center for more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
–Information from USDA