Help is on the way for farmers in Mississippi who have been affected by rain, flooding and freezing conditions. MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports on what the US Department of Agriculture is offering for more than half the counties in the state.
The USDA is designating 45 counties across the state as disaster areas.
Farmers dealing with the aftermath of weather conditions ranging from freezing to flooding are eligible for emergency and low interest loans.
Clay Adcock is a farmer in Yazoo County whose 4000 acres were underwater. He said even in times of disaster, farmers still have expenses.
“I have no crop this year, for the first time in 33 years, but I still have capital expenditures that I have to make," Adcock said. "I have to try and keep some labor as best as I can for next year, if I’m going to farm next year. I still have note payments on equipment.”
The state has yet to get any individual assistance from FEMA, although it does have public assistance from the agency.
Andy Gipson is Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. Gipson said the loans also can be a next step in getting individual assistance for homes and businesses.
“This program allows for low-interest loans just to help our farmers get through this tough time. You might consider it more of a bridge to the next form of relief in the form of disaster relief, that we expect to be forthcoming.”
Before being evaluated for individual assistance, the South Delta must go through clean up.
The declaration comes after a year of rough weather for the state.