Statewide—Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced Friday that Indiana farmers are eligible for assistance under a secretarial natural disaster designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.This was in response to a letter Gov. Holcomb sent to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in July, requesting assistance due to the excessive rain and flooding farmers experienced during planting season.Seventy-four counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas. USDA deferred its decision on the remaining 18 counties. However, since they border one or more of the primary disaster areas, they are considered contiguous disaster counties – allowing farm operators in those areas to be eligible for the same assistance.In order to qualify, farm operators must show at least a 30 percent loss in crop production or a physical loss to livestock, livestock products, real estate or chattel property. Farmers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses to a maximum amount of $500,000, according to USDA.In addition to emergency loans, farmers with existing FSA loans, who are unable to make their payments, may be eligible to have certain payments deferred. Farmers are encouraged to work with their local FSA office for assistance regarding payment forbearance or emergency disaster loans.