Relief now available for farmers affected by heavy rains last sp - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Relief now available for farmers affected by heavy rains last spring

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(01/29/14) - Relief is now available for many Mid-Michigan farmers affected by the heavy rains last spring.

You may remember Gov. Snyder declared a state of disaster after major flooding in several parts of the state.

Now a recent declaration by the federal government may make it easier for farmers to recover from the natural disaster.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 38 Michigan counties as primary natural disaster areas. Farmers in those locations may now qualify for some assistance.

Heavy rains caused big headaches across mid-Michigan last April. The weather devastated many residents and crippled some farmers.

This week, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture announced some relief for those growers.

These counties highlighted across the state have been declared disaster areas--

"What that means is that frees up considerable federal loan dollars through the Farm Service Agencies Emergency Loan Program for qualifying farmers," said David Russ, of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

In order to be considered for the loans, farmers must operate in one of the designated counties. They must also show at least a 30 percent production loss over the past year.

"I would encourage the customers to contact anyone of the Farm Service offices throughout Michigan and ask to set up an appointment with one of our farm loan managers, where our farm loan managers can sit down with that customer, review their records, review their documentation and then walk that customer through the loan application process and then ultimately determine if they qualify or not for an emergency loan," Russ said.

Farmers affected have eight months to apply for loans to help cover part of their damages from last spring.

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