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USDA Loans Available for Farmers in Four States

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Scott Olson
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Getty Images
Drought-stricken corn struggles to survive on a farm near Poseyville, Ind.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says drought during the growing season has made farmers in most of Texas, all of Louisiana and parts of Arkansas and Mississippi eligible to apply for federal aid.

The department’s Farm Service Agency says low-interest emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of equipment or livestock. They can also be used to reorganize a farming operation or refinance certain debts.

The agency will consider the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

USDA declares drought disasters if a county is under extreme or exceptional drought, or has had at least eight straight weeks of severe drought.

20 counties in Arkansas are primary disaster areas, with farmers and ranchers eligible to apply for loans in another 11 in Arkansas, according to news releases.

Application deadlines vary according to when a county was declared an agricultural disaster area. That and other details are available on the Farm Service Agency website, fsa.usda.gov.