Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO) today called on media outlets to make farmers in the St. Louis region aware that, due to persisting drought conditions, the St. Louis region and 97 counties in Missouri have been named natural disaster areas by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Because of this designation, these area are now available for Farm Service Agency assistance.
Rep. Carnahan was one of several Missouri lawmakers who joined Governor Nixon in requesting this designation. Carnahan and the delegation wrote Farm Service Agency Administrator Bruce Nelson on June 28th to support the Governor's call.
"Our farms feed Missouri, America and the world," said Carnahan. "Right now, farmers are reeling from the heat and dry conditions brought upon by the drought. I applaud Secretary Vilsack for his swift action to help these men and women in the Heartland. As well, I call upon my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a wise and prudent farm bill reauthorization soon, so that when our farmers return to full production, they will do so under the certainty of a long-term piece of legislation."
Farmers affected by the drought can contact their local FSA office to learn more about assistance programs, including emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have 8 months from the declaration of a disaster to apply for this assistance. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production loss, security available and repayment ability.