Farmers in all of Missouri's 114 counties are now eligible to seek low-interest disaster loans.
To help drought-stricken Missouri farms, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Tuesday designated 97 more Missouri counties as disaster areas because of prolonged heat and drought.
When these 97 counties are added to the 17 previously designated, all 114 counties in Missouri have been declared disaster areas by the USDA.
The designation allows all farmers throughout Missouri to be eligible to seek low-interest loans and other assistance if they can prove losses. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the USDA disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) serving each county will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and ability to repay the loan.
On July 10 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon asked the USDA to designate all Missouri counties as disaster areas.
Nixon said Missouri farmers should document any losses or additional costs experienced as a result of weather events, including drought. That information is often required to qualify for FSA loans as well as other aid programs.