Eligible farmers can get loans to cover hurricane losses

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Some Georgia farmers are eligible for federal loans to help cover the costs of losses sustained because of Hurricane Michael.

The Augusta Chronicle reported Tuesday that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated several Georgia counties as primary natural disaster areas, allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer the loans.

Hurricane Michael swept through Georgia in October and cost area farmers at least $1 billion in damages and lost crops. Eligible counties in Georgia include Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren, Burke, Glascock, Emanuel, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Screven and Washington. Eligible counties in South Carolina include Aiken and Barnwell.

The loans will allow farmers to replace essential items such as livestock or reorganize farming operations. The deadline to apply is Aug. 12. The interest rate is currently 4 percent.