The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 counties in Minnesota as natural disaster areas due to the combine effects of excessive rain, excessive heat, high winds, tornadoes and an early fall frost that occurred during the period of April 1, 2011, through Sept. 15, 2001. Those counties are: Big Stone, Lac Qui Parle, Sibley, Traverse, Chippewa, Redwood, Stearns, Wright, Grant, Renville, and Stevens.
“Assistance at this point and time is critically important for producers Minnesota, especially in helping them keep their farmland healthy for the remainder of the year,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I realize that during this time of disaster, federal assistance will be needed until conditions improve as farmers strive to recover their losses.”
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Minnesota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Anoka Hennepin Morrison Sherburne
Benton Kandiyohi Murray Swift
Brown Le Sueur Nicollet Todd
Carver Lyon Otter Tail Wilkin
Cottonwood McLeod Pope Yellow Medicine
Douglas Meeker Scott
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas Oct. 25, 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.