(Tallahassee, FL/January 24, 2022) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried welcomed the news from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it has designated Dixie and Gilchrist counties as primary natural disaster areas eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans to help producers impacted by Tropical Storm Elsa in July 2021 recover.
“While we were fortunate that the 2021 hurricane season was relatively quiet for Florida, all three storms that made landfall in the state did so in North Florida where our producers have been among the hardest hit by natural disasters of increasing severity in recent years,” Commissioner Fried said. “We are grateful to the USDA for providing this additional support, and we encourage all eligible producers to reach out to their local FSA office on this available federal disaster assistance.”
The USDA also designated Alachua, Columbia, Lafayette, Levy, Suwannee, and Taylor counties as contiguous natural disaster areas eligible for FSA emergency loans along with the primary counties of Dixie and Gilchrist. Producers in all eight Florida counties included in this designation announcement will have until September 19, 2022 to apply. This is in addition to Columbia, Hamilton, and Madison that were designated as contiguous counties to Georgia disaster areas on October 18, 2021, where producers have until June 18, 2022 to apply for FSA emergency loans related to TS Elsa impacts.
Eligible producers can apply for this assistance through their local FSA offices. Emergency loans can be used to meet recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.
Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services