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Farms in Cayuga County may be eligible for natural disaster funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture following damage and losses from heavy rain on April 1, according to a release issued Dec. 20. 

The USDA designated seven New York counties primary natural disaster areas including Franklin, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Otsego, Schoharie and Seneca. Cayuga County and 22 others were listed as qualifying for natural disaster assistance, too, because the counties are contiguous. 

Those counties were declared natural disaster areas on Dec. 13, which makes all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for Farm Service Agency emergency loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers have eight months from Dec. 13 to apply for loans to help cover their actual losses, according to the release. 

The USDA added that the FSA has other programs that can help provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration. Those interested should contact their local USDA service centers for more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures.

For more information on the FSA emergency loans, visit fsa.usda.gov. For more information on other assistance programs visit disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

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