BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared six Louisiana parishes eligible for disaster assistance as a result of damage and losses caused by a freeze that occurred Jan. 16-18, said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

The USDA designated West Baton Rouge Parish as a primary disaster area. East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes are named as contiguous disaster areas.

Strain said farmers located in these parishes are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible areas have eight months from the disaster declaration date to apply for emergency loans to help cover losses.

FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. For information, farmers and ranchers may contact their local parish FSA office. Information is also available online at