Local farmers eligible for winter-damage loans

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Wisconsin agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) physical loss loans.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these low-interest loans to agricultural producers in Oconto, Marinette and 22 other counties who incurred losses caused by multiple winter storms with blizzard conditions, excessive snow, high winds, and extreme cold that occurred between Jan. 27 through March 2. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. Applications are due Nov. 25.

“Wisconsin’s hardworking ag producers feed our neighbors, the nation and the world,” said state executive director Sandy Chalmers. “When they suffer losses because of extreme weather, helping them get back on their feet is important. We encourage those affected to reach out to their local USDA Service Center to apply for these emergency loans.”

Producers in contiguous counties including Brown, Menominee and Shawano are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Physical loss loans can help producers repair or replace damaged or destroyed physical property essential to the success of the agricultural operation, including livestock losses. Examples of property commonly affected include essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops and hay.

For information on FSA disaster assistance programs or to find your local USDA Service Center, visit www.farmers.gov/recover.