Baton Rouge: Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared 13 parishes as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought.
The primary parishes included under the designation are: Concordia, East Carroll, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vernon, West Carroll and Winn.
In accordance with section 321(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, additional areas were named as contiguous disaster parishes. They are: Allen, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Caldwell, Catahoula, De Soto, Evangeline, Lincoln, Madison, Pointe Coupee, Red River, Richland, Tensas, Union and West Feliciana.
Strain said farmers and ranchers located in both primary and contiguous parishes are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have 8 months from the disaster declaration date to apply for the emergency loans.
For more information, farmers and ranchers may contact their local parish FSA office. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.