Baton Rouge, La. (Sept. 16, 2015) – Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared 20 parishes as natural disaster areas due to a recent drought.
The primary parishes included under the designation are: Bienville, Caldwell, Claiborne, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union and Webster.
In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas were named as contiguous disaster parishes. They are: Bossier, Catahoula, East Carroll, Franklin, LaSalle, Madison, Natchitoches, Red River, West Carroll and Winn.
Strain said, “You can’t control mother nature, but we are glad to see our farmers get the assistance they need to alleviate some of the hardship.”
Strain said farmers and ranchers located in both primary and contiguous parishes are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have 8 months from the disaster declaration date, Sept. 16, 2015, to apply for the emergency loans.
For more information, farmers and ranchers may contact their local parish FSA office. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.