USDA Designates Natural Disaster Areas

Louisiana Producers to Receive Assistance

Baton Rouge, La. (December 2, 2020) – Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated several parishes disaster areas as a result of damage and losses caused by Hurricane Laura’s strong winds in late August.

A primary natural disaster area is eligible for assistance and has been declared for Caldwell, Natchitoches, Ouachita and Red River parishes.

These parishes are designated contiguous disaster areas: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Catahoula, DeSoto, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Rapides, Richland, Sabine, Union, Vernon, and Winn.

According to the LSU AgCenter, damage estimates from agriculture and forestry losses exceeded $1.6 billion.

“So many people suffered losses during Hurricane Laura including our farmers and ranchers. With its devastating Category 4 winds reaching 150 mph, Laura maintained hurricane strength as she pummeled the state,” said Strain. “Any assistance is appreciated to help our agricultural producers to recoup losses.”

Farmers in these parishes are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas 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.

For more information, contact your local FSA office.

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