WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 26 counties in Mississippi as a primary natural disaster area due to a recent drought.

USDA Designates 26 Counties in Mississippi as a Primary Natural Disaster Area with Assistance to Producers in Surrounding States

Latawnya Dia
202-720-7962
Latawnya.Dia@wdc.usda.gov

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 26 counties in Mississippi as a primary natural disaster area due to a recent drought. Those counties are:

 Alcorn Humphreys Noxubee  Tippah 
 Choctaw Issaquena Rankin Union
 Claiborne Jasper Scott Warren
 Clarke  Leake  Sharkey Wayne
 Copiah Madison Smith  Winston
 Greene  Neshoba Sunflower  Yazoo
 Hinds Newton  

“Our hearts go out to those Mississippi 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

 Attala  Jefferson Leflore Pontotoc 
 Benton  Jones  Lincoln Prentiss
 Bolivar Kemper Lowndes Simpson
 Coahoma Lafayette Marshall Tallahatchie
 Covington  Lauderdale Montgomery  Tishomingo
 George  Lawrence  Oktibbeha Washington
 Holmes Lee Perry Webster

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties and parishes in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

Alabama
Choctaw, Mobile, Pickens, Sumter and Washington

Arkansas
Chicot

Louisiana
East Carroll, Madison and Tensas

Tennessee
Hardeman, Hardin and McNairy

All counties and parishes listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Nov. 30, 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 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).