Farmers and ranchers eligible for storm damage loans from USDA

Tornado damage left in northern Scott County, 3-6-17. WQAD photo

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — The United States Department of Agriculture announced Friday, March 31 that farmers and ranchers in multiple Illinois and Iowa counties will be eligible for emergency low-interest loans to help repair and replace assets damaged in a March 6 severe weather outbreak.

Farm operators who suffered major losses caused by hail, high winds, lighting and tornadoes are eligible.

The following Illinois counties are included: Carroll, Henderson, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside.

These Iowa counties are included: Allamakee, Audubon, Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler, Calhoun, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guthrie, Hardin, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Monona, Monroe, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Sac, Shelby, Story, Tama, Wapello and Winneshiek.

The loans are designed to help farmers quickly recover from physical losses that impact their ability to produce.

Examples of property commonly affected include essential farm buildings, fixtures to real estate, equipment, livestock, perennial crops, fruit and nut bearing trees, and harvested or stored crops and hay.

Producers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans for physical losses.

Information on how to apply and eligibility requirements can be found on the FSA website.