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UC Farmers Eligible For Loans After Fall Drought

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UC Farmers Eligible For Loans After Fall Drought

Farmers in several Upper Cumberland counties are eligible for federal loans in the aftermath of the fall drought conditions.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency offering loans to help producers recover. Farmers in Cumberland, Dekalb, Fentress, Putnam, Smith, Van Buren, Warren and White Counties are eligible. Greer Gill is outreach and public affairs coordinator for the agency. She said severe drought conditions impacted these counties for at least eight weeks.

“Farmers can get these loans if they have any disaster related needs, it can be used for any kind of recovery, for helping livestock, reorganizing the farming operation, and all the way to refinancing certain debts,” Gill said. “And also, these loans have a much better interest rate than you can get through other lending institutions because it is coming straight from the federal government.”

Gill said that means an interest rate of 3.75 percent. Gill said farmers can apply through the local Farm Service Agency Office.

“They can do that by visiting FarmersDotGov, and there is a service center finder on there,” Gill said. “And you can look up your local county and give them a call. There’s a local county executive director, and we also have loan officers that cover each of our counties. So those, our employees would be more than happy to connect with farmers and help them in any of these counties that have been affected.

The counties eligible suffered from drought conditions during the growing season last season. Gill said that can long-term impacts for farmers.

“A drought is something that lingers,” Gill said. “So when we’re looking at a drought being severe enough to declare an emergency over, it means that we have had a protracted amount of time in that drought. And as such, we may have had crops that are impacted, we may have had livestock that’s impacted, and we’re also going to be having future crops that are impacted. You know, we’re going into the spring and planting season. So right now, if we don’t have a really good base right there for our plants to take hold, then we’re looking at our future markets being impacted. So it may not. It may not be exactly what people first think of, but a drought can be not only impactful, it can be impactful for a long time.”

A total of 77 counties in Tennessee are eligible for the loans. FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability.


The post UC Farmers Eligible For Loans After Fall Drought appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.