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Northwest Lower Michigan counties designated as agriculture disaster areas | Business

From Staff Reports

TRAVERSE CITY — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday designated 43 Michigan counties as primary natural disaster areas. Suffered agricultural losses caused by excessive rain, flooding, flash flooding or abnormally cold temperatures since from March 1, 2019, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

Area counties with the primary natural disaster designation include Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau.

Other Michigan counties designated as primary natural disaster areas include Alger, Berrien, Cass, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clinton, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Huron, Ingham, Iron, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Menominee, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Oceana, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Sanilac, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, and Wayne.

This natural disaster designation allows Farm Service Agency to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items including equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in contiguous counties also are eligible to apply for emergency loans: Alpena, Baraga, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Clare, Crawford, Gladwin, Gogebic, Houghton, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Luce, Mackinac, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm, Montmorency, Newaygo, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Oscoda, Ottawa, Saginaw, Tuscola, Van Buren, and Wexford, along with Elkhart, LaGrange, LaPorte, St. Joseph, and Steuben counties in Indiana; Fulton, Lucas, and Williams counties in Ohio; and Door, Florence, Forest, Marinette, and Vilas counties in Wisconsin.

The deadline to apply for the emergency loans is June 30, 2020. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA offers a variety of other programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that don’t require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information also is available at farmers.gov/recover.

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