Farmers eligible for loans after Matthew

Published 9:55 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

Suffolk and several other Virginia localities have been designated natural disaster areas due to losses caused by multiple disasters during the 2016 crop year.

Suffolk received the designation because of frost, excessive heat, excessive rain, flash flooding and flooding that occurred from May 1 through Oct. 8, a period capped off by Hurricane Matthew.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture made the announcement Thursday. The declaration was in response to a request from James M. Dunn, Farm Service Agency’s acting state executive director in Virginia.

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Isle of Wight, Northampton, Surry and Greensville counties also received disaster declarations due to many of the same disasters, including Hurricane Matthew.

Farmers and ranchers in Accomack, Charles City, James City, Prince George, Southampton, Sussex, Franklin, Newport News, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Brunswick, Dinwiddie and Emporia in Virginia and Camden and Gates counties in North Carolina also qualify for assistance because their counties are contiguous to one or more of the localities designated a primary disaster area.

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for FSA’s low interest emergency loans, 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.

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