Source: USDA-Farm Service Agency
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated El Paso and Kleberg counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought. Farmers and ranchers in Brooks, Hudspeth, Jim Wells, Kenedy and Nueces counties in Texas, as well as Dona Ana and Otero counties in New Mexico, also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Aug. 27, 2014, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas 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. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, The Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, theEmergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, and the Tree 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.go