Missouri's record breaking cold and severe spring freeze have prompted federal funding for emergency loans and disaster assistance.
Tim Kelly, executive director of Missouri's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced last week that Oregon County is among the counties in the state where FSA loans will be available for the freezes that occurred March 30 through April 21.
Applications for assistance will be accepted at the FSA's county office in Houston for physical and production losses through Feb. 26, 2008. An official with the Oregon County FSA office said the reason Oregon County producers need to contact the Houston office is because that is where the FSA loan officer for this area is located.
"Loans for physical losses must be used to replace or repair damage to buildings, fences or to compensate for losses of basic livestock, stored crops, or supplies on hand or equipment, that was lost due to the disaster," Kelly said,
He said loans for production losses may also be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock or to make payments on real estate. He said generally production losses cannot be approved until crops have completed their production cycle or have been harvested.
Kelly said in order to qualify, a farmer must have suffered a 30 percent loss in production or an actual physical loss that was essential to the successful operation of the farm. Loans for actual losses are made at an interest rate of 3.75 percent to eligible applicants who are unable to obtain the actual credit needed from another source.
For more information regarding physical and production loans call the Oregon County FSA office at 417-778-7561.
Also, last week Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson announced that small business in 24 counties in the state, including Oregon County, are eligible for low interest disaster loans to offset any losses from the spring freeze.
For more information about the small business loans contact the U.S. Small Business Administration at 1-800-659-2955.