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Originally published: 2014-01-30 11:02:48
Last modified: 2014-01-30 11:02:48

Our View: Plant the seed for disaster assistance

With typical High Country January weather on tap this week, spring may seem far off and last spring a distant memory. But it is that memory of spring 2013, and particularly of the rains that began during that time and gripped the region for much of the year, that are important to many local farm businesses today.

Rains last year brought landslides, washed-out fields and damage to fencing, barns and roads for many Watauga and surrounding counties farmers -- enough damage that a disaster declaration was made on Sept 18, 2013.

Based on that declaration, farm businesses in need of disaster assistance are now eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agricultures Farm Service Agency. Loans can cover up to 75 percent of needed repairs.

Because continual rain slushed into the onset of winter, many farmers have yet been able to complete those repairs, making the loan offer valuable to our local producers. 

Yet that offer is tied to deadline, and now is the time to consider the need. Call (828) 264-3850 for FSA information.