There are 114 counties in the state of Missouri, not counting the independent city of St. Louis. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 101 of Missouri’s counties as natural disaster areas due to losses caused by drought and excessive heat that occurred July 1 – August 30, 2011. But, because the remaining counties in Missouri and several counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansa, Oklahoma and Tennessee are contiguous, they too are natural disaster areas.

These counties were designated natural disaster areas October 17, 2011, making all qualified farm operators in the designated area eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, 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 has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program; the Emergency Conservation Program; Federal Crop Insurance; and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.