WASHINGTON, March 25, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by heavy rains, flash flooding and flooding that occurred from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016.

USDA Designates 2 Counties in Oklahoma as Primary Natural Disaster Areas With Assistance to Producers in Arkansas

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated LeFlore and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by heavy rains, flash flooding and flooding that occurred from Dec. 26, 2015, through Jan. 5, 2016.

“Our hearts go out to those Oklahoma farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Oklahoma producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Oklahoma also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

AdairHaskellMcCurtainPushmataha
CherokeeLatimerMuskogee

Farmers and ranchers in Crawford, Polk, Scott and Sebastian counties in Arkansas also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on March 23, 2016, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

FSA news releases are available on FSA’s website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/ via the “Newsroom” link.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).