12 East Texas counties qualify for Farm Service Agency loans

12 East Texas counties qualify for Farm Service Agency loans
Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 6:23 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2023 at 7:56 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texas farmers and ranchers are getting some financial reprieve to help after summer’s scorching drought. The farm service agency is accepting emergency farm loan applications from those who suffered damages and losses.

Cary Sims, a Texas A&M AgriLife agent says this was one of the hottest and driest summers East Texas has experienced.

“Most folks had a good start to the year, coming out of spring and going into summer but going into July, water just shut off. You couple that with the extreme heat those plants out in those pastures, they just didn’t produce,” Sims said.

The USDA Farm Service Agency declared 75 Texas counties disaster areas.

Clinton Warrick, a Smith County farm loan manager, says they are eligible for the loans if they lost 30% of their production due to the drought. Counties in East Texas include Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, Delta, Henderson, Houston, Hunt, Rains, Smith, Trinity, Van Zandt and Wood counties.

“You have to be an established farmer, so we will take your previous history and compare it to either your yield, your disaster yield, or if you have a total loss of the crop,” Warrick said.

Warrick says the repayment depends on what you are borrowing for. If you use the loan for working capital that you lost, that is to be repaid in one year. If it is physical loss due to security, such as cattle, it is to be repaid on a seven-year note.

Warrick says due to staffing shortages it’s important to get your application in.

“We work along the portfolio as they come in so the longer you wait, the farther back you will be. There are only so many loan officers to work these loans,” Warrick said.

The deadline for applications is May 29, 2024.