Farmers and ranchers in Howard County may be eligible for emergency loans through the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a recent drought disaster declaration in Arkansas.
A total of 20 Arkansas counties were listed in the USDA’s drought disaster statement. The main eligible counties in the region are Sevier, Little River and Hempstead. As a neighboring county, farmers and ranchers in Howard can also apply for the federal emergency loan program. Pike County is also listed as a “contiguous” county in the declaration, meaning growers residing in that area can also apply.
The emergency loan program is triggered when a natural disaster is designated by the Secretary of Agriculture or a natural disaster or emergency is declared by the President under the Stafford Act. These loans assist producers who experience eligible agricultural losses directly caused by the disaster in a county declared or designated as a primary disaster or quarantine area. In addition, farmers located in counties contiguous to the declared, designated or quarantined area are eligible for emergency loans.
The deadline to apply for an emergency loan is December 8.
For more information and application forms, visit the agricultural service agency’s website at www.fsa.usda.gov or contact your nearest agricultural service agency. Howard County residents can call the Texarkana-based Agricultural Service Agency at (870) 330-3134. Residents of Polk and Sevier counties can call the De Queen-based Agricultural Service Agency at (870) 584-3111.