23 Sep 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named 24 Louisiana parishes and two Texas counties agricultural disaster areas because of last month’s storms and flooding.

Eleven parishes are primary disaster areas, and the others are adjacent to them, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry said in a news release.

The primary disaster areas are Acadia, Ascension, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, St. James, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion parishes. Allen, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Lafourche, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. John the Baptist and St. Mary parishes, and Jefferson and Orange counties in Texas are contiguous disaster areas.

Last week, the LSU AgCenter estimated that south Louisiana suffered $277 million in damage to crops, livestock, equipment and increased production costs. The worst damage was to soybean and rice crops, estimated at losses of $69 million each. Corn damage was pegged at $44 million, while cotton damage reached $26 million.

The Farm Service Agency has low-interest emergency loans for eligible farmers. Farmers have eight months to apply.

The agency considers the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

It also has other recovery programs.