Deadline approaches for the Agribusiness Recovery Loan Program

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said May 28 is the final day for agribusiness owners who were affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike to apply to the Agribusiness Recovery Loan Program for low-interest loans.

Completed applications must be delivered and date stamped by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) no later than 5 p.m. on May 28.

The Agribusiness Recovery Program provides low-interest loans to agribusinesses like aerial applicators, loggers, cotton gins and grain elevators.

In 2009, LDAF's Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority (LAFA) distributed more than $40 million to about 1,100 Louisiana farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners who suffered losses caused by hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The loans were made through the Louisiana Farm and Agribusiness Recovery Grant and Loan Program.

After last year's program, all of the $34.5 million set aside for farmers was distributed, but $2.2 million remains available for a second disbursement of the agribusiness loan money.

The recovery programs were funded with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) money, which the Louisiana Recovery Authority set aside for aid to the storm-damaged agricultural community. In total, Louisiana received more than $1 billion in CDBG funding for recovery.

Agribusiness owners that previously received a loan during the first phase of this program are not eligible to reapply, but owners that applied and were denied may reapply.

For application packets and additional information, call 225-922-1277, toll free at 866-295-0081 or visit us on the Web at