WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Bent, Custer, Huerfano and Prowers counties in Colorado as primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought.
Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are: Alamosa, Costilla, Saguache, Fremont, Otero, Baca, Kiowa, Pueblo and Las Animas.
Qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA’s) emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration of March 29, 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 the impacts of this disaster.
Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include: Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency 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.gov.