Jul 8, 2019
NW Michigan growers get natural disaster loans

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on July 3 designated five counties in northwest Michigan as primary natural disaster areas.

Northwest Michigan is a noted fruit-production region, especially Grand Traverse County. Michigan grows 75 percent of the supply of tart cherries and 20 percent of the supply of sweet cherries in the United States, according to the Michigan Cherry Committee.

Producers in Antrim, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Otsego counties who suffered losses caused by excessive rain and high winds that have occurred since Aug. 28, 2018, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters, according to a news release from the USDA. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. 

Producers in the contiguous Michigan counties of Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Crawford, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Oscoda, Roscommon, and Wexford are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Feb. 25, 2020.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity ProgramOperating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.





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