ALBANY — Disaster assistance is now available for eligible Georgia farmers affected by Hurricane Michael with funds allocated during the special legislative session convened by Gov. Nathan Deal last month.
Farmers eligible for assistance must be suffering a loss to their income as a result of Hurricane Michael. The Georgia Developmental Authority will administer a $55 million loan program provided through the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriation Act, which was amended to provide emergency funding for state agencies and local governments in areas heavily impacted by the storm.
The purpose of the program is to provide relief to Georgia farmers through the SAFETY 21 Loan Program. These funds are meant to bridge the gap for approved applicants until other disaster relief and insurance funds are available.
The loans have a seven-year term with a graduated rate starting at 1 percent.
Farmers seeking assistance will need to fill out three forms for the application. The first form is the Production Loss Verification Form to be filled out by either a Georgia Development Authority loan specialist, crop insurance agent, county extension agent or by the Farm Service Agency.
The second form for the loan application is the Operating Credit Continuity Agreement to be filled out by the applicant’s operating credit provider, followed by the SAFETY 21 Loan Program application.
The maximum loan amount available is $400,000 per borrower. Estates and publicly held corporations are not eligible.