USDA to farmers: use programs for weather losses

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LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana The federal Farm Service Agency says Louisiana farmers and ranchers hurt by recent rains and floods may be eligible for a number of federal benefits.

State executive director Craig McCain said in a news release Wednesday that the weather did extensive damage, and many farmers and ranchers were unable to plant or lost recently planted crops. He says others lost or had to move livestock, and suffered property damage.

He says such losses are covered by seven programs, including non-insured crop disaster assistance, livestock indemnity, assistance for orchard owners and nursery tree growers. Another offers help for damages to livestock and feed, honeybees and farm-raised fish. Emergency loans are available to farmers and ranches in federal disaster areas.