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USDA declares 28 Mo. counties disaster areas

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 28 Missouri counties to be federal disaster areas, due to storms and flooding that hit the Show-Me State between February and July.

Farmers in those 28 counties, and in 47 adjacent counties, can apply for federal disaster loans and other assistance.

Scott Holste is Press Secretary for Governor Jay Nixon.

"We think this is gonna be a real shot in the arm for family farmers who suffered economically because of the bad weather that kept them from getting out in the fields as early as they needed to to plant," Holste said.

The disaster area and eligible adjacent counties are scattered throughout northern Missouri, the Boot-heal, and stretch across a large part of the state's mid-section.

"If a farmer had a 30 percent loss in crop production or a 30 percent loss of livestock or other type of property because of the severe weather, that farmer could be eligible for an emergency loan that would cover up to 100 percent of that loss, up to $500,000," Holste said.

Affected farmers can contact their local Farm Service Agency office or the statewide FSA office in Columbia for more information.