There is good news for the people in Texoma who live off the land. Disaster Emergency Loans have just been made available to farmers in a few of our Texoma counties. This is for farmers who lost crops, land, or livestock because of the fires this spring and the freeze this winter.
The USDA Farm Service Agency or FSA Loan Manager Kelley Boone says there are nine counties, three of which were just recently added. He says the counties include Wichita, Archer, Clay, Baylor, Jack, Knox, Montague, Wilbarger, and Wise. But there are different application deadlines for each.
Texomans know how to prepare for the extreme, from the below freezing temps this winter to the devastating fires that destroyed parts of the area this spring. But some things you can't prepare for. FSA Kelley Boone says these loans are there to help farmers get a fresh start. Boone says, "It gives them a help to get back and put their facilities back in the condition that it was prior to the disaster; whether it had been a windstorm, a hailstorm, or a drought."
Farmers Co-Op Gin & Elevator General Manager Larry Brown says dealing with Texoma's extremes, farmers need all the help they can get. Brown says, "It's either devastating, or it's a blessing to agriculture. This year happens to be a year that we've been devastated." He says a lot of acres were not harvested this year due to weather disasters. FSA Manager Boone says despite some rain we've had in the past few days, it's not enough.
He says there's been, "very little rain so the wheat crop is very small this year. And their yields have definitely been affected. Some that couldn't even harvest any of it at all." In order to qualify, farmers have to have at least 30 percent production loss. Brown told Newschannel 6 in the past these loans made the difference for some farmers, helping them stay in business.
Below are the deadlines for the counties, along with the criteria for each.
Clay County (Damages and losses caused by the combined effects of drought, extreme heat, and high winds during the time period 11/01/09 through 10/31/10) - Deadline is 08/29/2011.
Jack County (Damages and losses caused by the drought from 05/01/10 through 12/31/10)- Deadline is 10/17/2011.
Clay, Jack, Archer, Montague, Wichita and Wilbarger (Damages and losses caused by drought occurring from 03/01/10 through 12/31/10)- Deadline is 11/28/2011.
Clay and Montague (Damages and losses caused by severe winter storms and snowstorm that occurred from 01/31/11 through 02/05/11)- Deadline is 01/13/2012.