The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 11 counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred from Jan. 3, 2016, through Jan. 29, 2016. Those counties are: Brevard, Hardee, Osceola, Broward, Miami-Dade, Polk, DeSoto, Monroe and Sarasota
Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Florida also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on March 16, 2016, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include the Emergency Conservation Program; Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
Interested farmers may contact their local USDA information in Miami-Dade:
FSA SERVICE CENTER OFFICE. MIAMI-DADE COUNTY FARM SERVICE AGENCY
1450 N KROME AVE STE 102. FLORIDA CITY, FL 33034-2400
(800) 243-9912 – (305) 242-1197 ext 2
(855) 482-1236 Fax