Drought Disaster Declared
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Baca, Crowley and Otero counties in Colorado as primary natural disaster areas due to losses of wheat and forage crops caused by ongoing drought that began Jan. 1, 2011.
“Colorado has experienced severe drought conditions this year,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “President Obama and I are pleased to announce that Colorado producers will soon be able to access federal disaster assistance for its agricultural industry.”
Farmers and ranchers in Bent, El Paso, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Prowers and Pueblo counties in Colorado, also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
USDA also has made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.
Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.