More farmers may need help next year

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - Earlier this week 26 Arkansas counties were designated disaster areas following the recent floods. Jeanette Clem, a Farm Loan Officer with Farm Service Agency in Poinsett County, said once the designation is issued farmers may receive some help, but not right away.

Clem said, "If that disaster has affected the farmer's crop they could be eligible for an emergency loan."

In order for the farmers to get the loans they have to have their harvest completed.

"So that you can determine how much of a loss can be attributed to that disaster. You have to have at least a 30% reduction in yield history in order to be eligible for an emergency loan. And then some quality losses can be counted in there also."

Clem said occasionally farmers will need extra money during the year to finish up their crop.  Surprisingly this year they have not seen more people than normal.

"Where we're going to see the affect of this is when we start making loans in January for 2010.  Their payments are going to start, they'll be due by the end of this year or the first of January. By then they will know if they can make their payments or not."

The Farm Service Agency has a number of loans available, but they only provide to beginning farmers and farmers that can't get financing elsewhere.

Due to the flooding this year Clem said more farmers could be coming in for help next year. "We anticipate seeing an increase in the number of loans we do, possibly doubling what we do."

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