USDA designates 48 Wis. counties as natural disaster areas

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On July 3, 2013, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack designated 48 counties in Wisconsin as primary natural disaster areas due to damage and losses caused by excessive rain, excessive snow, and multiple periods of thawing and refreezing resulting in in winterkill that occurred beginning January 1, 2013 through May 21, 2013.

The counties announced in the Secretarial Disaster Designation include:

Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Dodge, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pierce, Shawano, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Washington, Waupaca.

Producers in the following counties also qualify for emergency loans because their counties are contiguous:

Barron, Columbia, Dane, Door, Dunn, Florence, Forest, Jackson, Jefferson, La Crosse, Marquette, Menominee, Milwaukee, Oneida, Pepin, Portage, Price, Rusk, St. Croix, Taylor, Waukesha, Waushara, Winnebago, Wood.

“The counties announced in the Secretarial Disaster Designation have the opportunity to access low interest emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). These loans are available to producers who have suffered qualifying damages or losses from the winterkill they suffered,” said Brad Pfaff, Wisconsin FSA State Executive Director. “The deadline to file for a disaster loan is March 3, 2014.”

Actual loss loans for producers losses will be based on the disaster year production compared to the previous three (3) year production history. The actual loss loans for physical damages to property destroyed or damaged will be based upon the allowable cost associated with repairing or replacing the property destroyed or damaged. In addition, the damaged or destroyed property must be essential to the continuation of the operation. Interest rates for actual loss loans that do not exceed $500,000 will be 2.25 percent.

FSA is prohibited from making loans to applicants who can get credit elsewhere. Producers who feel they have sustained a qualifying loss and are interested in more information may contact their local county FSA office located in USDA Service Centers throughout Wisconsin.

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