Wednesday, May 17, 2017

USDA FSA Disaster Declaration for Florida drought

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2017 — In response to a request from Debbie Folsom, Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) acting State Executive Director in Florida, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 8 counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought. Those counties are:


Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk


Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Florida also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:


Brevard, Hendry, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Sarasota, St. Lucie, and Sumter


All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on May 10, 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.


To find your local FSA office, go to     


Additional information is also available online at   


                                                                                                                                                All the best.




                                                                                                                                                Gene McAvoy

                                                                                                                                                County Extension Director

                                                                                                                                                Regional Vegetable Agent IV

                                                                                                                                                UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension

                                                                                                                                                PO Box 68

                                                                                                                                                LaBelle, Florida 33975


                                                                                                                                                863-674-4092 office

                                                                                                                                                863-673-5939 cell









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