It’s been 8 weeks now since the devastating freeze that hit the area in early May. Many farmers still don’t have a full assessment yet of crop and orchard damages. But the government needs to hear from farmers within just a couple of weeks about their desire to apply for available federal disaster loans.

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The Small Business Administration is running the program. The SBA wants to make sure that small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and even businesses involved in aquaculture operations are aware of the program this year and the deadline.

The federal frost disaster relief loans are available for Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph Counties. The filing deadline is August 2nd. The federal government is usually pretty rigid on deadlines for these programs so farmers are urged to get going on applications if the loans are needed.

Michigan Farm News published a number of reports about the severe freeze. It describes the cold snap as something much worse than a snap.  “An arctic-origin air mass brought unseasonably cold weather and widespread hard freeze conditions to much of Michigan May 8-9. In northern sections of the state, the event followed an almost-daily series of freezing overnight temperatures back to May 4. The freezing conditions on May 8-9 were generally advective in nature, meaning there was a horizontal movement of a cold air mass versus more typical radiative freeze events with vertical release of heat to the atmosphere under relatively clear, calm conditions. Breezy, cloudy conditions continued at many sites throughout the evening.”

The SBA website notes: “The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.”

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