McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 28, 2013

Farmers can apply for assistance

Farm Service Agency to offer low-interest emergency loans

Submitted report

McALESTER — Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has designated 76 counties in Oklahoma as primary disaster areas due to drought that began Nov. 15.

Under the designation, Atoka, McIntosh, Latimer, Hughes and Pittsburg counties in Oklahoma are declared primary counties where eligible farmers can apply for emergency loan assistance from the Farm Service Agency.

Farm operators in contiguous counties are also eligible to be considered for low-interest emergency loans from the FSA.  

Eligible producers in the designated counties may apply for emergency loan assistance, according to John T. Bain, farm Loan manager for Pittsburg, Latimer, McIntosh and Atoka counties. Emergency loan funds may be used to purchase seed, fertilizer, fuel, and repairs.  

“A farmer can use the money for the most essential operating and living costs,” Bain said.  

To be eligible for a loan, an applicant must have suffered losses as a direct result of the disaster and be unable to get credit from other sources. Loans covering actual losses are at an interest rate of 2.250 percent per year. The amount of the loan is determined by actual certification of loss less any compensation received, repayment capacity of the borrower, and availability of security.

Loan applications will be received through Sept. 9.

Farmers and ranchers, who believe they can qualify, may contact the Pittsburg County FSA Office at 918-423-4073.