The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 101 counties in Missouri as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred from July 1 to Aug. 30, 2011. The counties are:
Adair Cooper Jefferson Morgan Schuyler
Audrain Crawford Johnson Newton Scotland
Barry Dade Knox Oregon Shannon
Barton Dallas Laclede Osage Shelby
Bates Daviess Lafayette Ozark St. Charles
Benton Dent Lawrence Pemiscot St. Clair
Bollinger Douglas Lewis Perry St. Francois
Boone Dunklin Lincoln Pettis St. Louis
Butler Franklin Linn Phelps Stoddard
Caldwell Gasconade Livingston Pike Stone
Callaway Gentry Macon Platte Sullivan
Camden Greene Madison Polk Taney
Cape Girardeau Grundy Maries Pulaski Texas
Carter Harrison Marion Putnam Vernon
Cass Henry McDonald Ralls Warren
Cedar Hickory Mercer Randolph Washington
Chariton Howard Miller Ray Wayne
Christian Howell Moniteau Reynolds Webster
Clark Jackson Monroe Ripley Worth
Clay Jasper Montgomery Saline Wright
"President Obama and I understand that this drought has caused severe damage to crops in Missouri and we want to help," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "America's farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation's economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow and out-compete the rest of the world. This action will provide assistance to hundreds of farmers in Missouri who suffered significant production losses during this challenging season."
Farmers and ranchers in Andrew, Buchanan, Carroll, Clinton, De Kalb, Iron, New Madrid, Nodaway, Scott, Ste. Genevieve counties, and the independent city of St. Louis also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Oct. 17, 2011, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties 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.
USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE), which was approved as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at disaster.fsa.usda.gov.