The USDA has designated 56 counties in Ohio as primary agricultural natural disaster areas, making certain farmers and other agricultural producers in the counties eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).
Some counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas, due to damages and losses caused by frost and freeze conditions that occurred from April 1 through 20. Those counties are: Adams, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Coshocton, Darke, Fairfield, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Union, Vinton, Warren, Washington and Wyandot.
Counties eligible because they are contiguous to those listed above are: Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Huron, Lake, Mahoning, Mercer, Miami, Putnam, Richland, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Van Wert, Wayne, Williams and Wood.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 20 making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low-interest emergency loans from USDA's FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. To qualify, farmers must be unable to obtain credit from commercial sources. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part or all 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 emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. USDA has also made other programs available to assist farmers, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers should contact their local FSA county office for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.