Family farmers in 55 Illinois counties – including Fayette – are now eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans due to physical and production losses caused by excessive rain, flooding and flash flooding that occurred after April 1 this spring.
In addition, with a qualifying loss, the designation makes producers eligible for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).
The EM loan program, announced last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, also designates several area counties as disaster areas – Bond, Christian, Effingham, Marion and Montgomery.
Emergency loan applications are available and must be submitted through the local FSA county office from any applicant who qualifies for a physical or production loss (at least a 30 percent reduction from normal) in a single enterprise from the flooding.
To qualify for an EM loan, an applicant must be an established family farm operator; provide evidence of having suffered a qualifying physical or production loss; and be unable to obtain suitable credit from a source other than FSA.
The low-interest loans may cover up to 100 percent of their actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000. The loan application must show ability to repay the loan, and the loan must be adequately secured. FSA loans for production losses may be used to buy feed, seed, fertilizer, livestock or to refinance certain debts. FSA loans for physical losses may be used to repair or replace the property that was damaged or lost.
The current interest rate for the EM loans is 3.75 percent. The deadline for submitting applications is May 9, 2011.