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USDA: drought disaster help
from Michelle Peyroux
March 2, 2017 -

WASHINGTON — In response to a request from Richard Carnegie, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Mississippi, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 69 counties in Mississippi as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:

Adams    Issaquena    Perry
Alcorn   Itawamba    Pontotoc
Attala    Jackson    Prentiss
Benton    Jasper    Quitman
Bolivar    Jefferson    Rankin
Calhoun    Jones    Scott
Carroll    Kemper    Sharkey
Chickasaw    Lafayette    Simpson
Choctaw    Lamar    Smith
Claiborne    Lauderdale    Stone
Clarke    Leake    Sunflower
Clay    Lee    Tallahatchie
Coahoma    Leflore    Tate
Copiah    Lowndes    Tippah
Covington    Madison    Tishomingo
Forrest    Marshall    Union
George    Monroe    Warren
Greene    Montgomery    Washington
Grenada    Neshoba    Wayne
Harrison    Newton    Webster
Hinds    Noxubee    Winston
Holmes    Oktibbeha    Yalobusha
Humphreys    Panola    Yazoo

Farmers and ranchers in DeSoto, Franklin, Hancock, Jefferson Davis, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Pearl River, Tunica and Wilkinson counties in Mississippi also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee, and parishes in Louisiana, also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Choctaw, Colbert, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Mobile, Pickens, Sumter and Washington

Chicot, Desha and Phillips

Concordia, East Carroll, Madison and Tensas

Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, McNairy and Shelby

All counties and parishes listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Feb. 23, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) 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 EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at

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