Iowa farmers who have damage from recent severe weather or flooding may be eligible for help from the Farm Services Agency. Iowa F-S-A program specialist Mike Musel says farmers may qualify for the emergency loan program if they are in or near a county declared a disaster. For that program a farmer must be able to repay the loan and must not be getting any commercial funding for their needs. FSA doesn’t have any programs to cover production losses, but Musel says there IS coverage for farm property. They can look at physical losses like buildings and machinery, and in counties with presidential disaster declaration and those next to them — contiguous — farmers would be eligible for emergency loans under the FSA’s “physical loss” criteria. Musel also says the emergency conservation program will help with restoring farmland damaged by erosion. It’s not a loan program, Musel explains, but rather a cost-share program. Farmers must get to an FSA office, report the loss and wait out the loan, adding it’s not an entitlement program He says despite the disaster declaration, Congress hasn’t yet appropriated money for the aid. Musel says actual crop losses have to be covered by insurance, or a production loan, and can’t be used until after harvest.
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