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Applications for emergency farm loans for losses caused by March’s severe storms, tornadoes and flooding are being accepted at the Farm Service Agency office in Stephenville. 

Palo Pinto County is one of 22 counties in Texas recently named by President Obama as eligible for loans to cover part of actual production and/or physical losses resulting from the severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that occurred March 7-29. 

Cynthia P. Kinser said farmers may be eligible for loans of up to 100 percent of their actual losses or the operating loan needed to continue the agricultural business, whichever is less. For farmers unable to obtain credit from private commercial lenders, the interest rate is 3.25 percent. 

“As a general rule, a farmer must have suffered at least a 30 percent loss of crop production or suffered any physical loss to be eligible for an FSA emergency loan under this disaster designation,” Kinser said. 

Producers participating in the Federal Crop Insurance Program will have to consider proceeds from those programs in determining their production loss. Additionally, any insurance proceeds received by producers as a result of the physical loss will have to be considered in determining their total loss. 

Applications for loans under this emergency designation will be accepted until Nov. 25, but farmers should apply as soon as possible. 

“Delays in applying could create backlogs in processing, with possible delays into the new farming season,” Kinser said.

FSA is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is authorized to provide disaster emergency loans to recognized farmers who work at and rely on farming for a substantial part of their living. Eligibility is extended to individual farmers who meet U.S. citizen requirements and to farming partnerships, corporations, or cooperatives in which U.S. citizenship requirements are met by individuals holding a majority interest.  

The FSA office in Stephenville, located at 245 S.Virginia St., is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Additional information regarding Disaster Assistance Programs may be found online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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