The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated five counties in Southwest Colorado as primary natural disaster areas because of losses and damages caused by multiple disasters in the 2017 crop year.
Dolores, Montezuma and San Miguel were designated as primary natural disaster areas because of losses and damages caused by hailstorms and rainstorms on Sept. 14, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release.Farmers and ranchers in La Plata, Montrose, Ouray and San Juan counties in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
Farmers and ranchers in Apache County in Arizona, San Juan County in New Mexico and San Juan County in Utah qualify because their counties are contiguous.
Delta County was designated as a primary natural disaster area because of losses and damages caused by a freeze that occurred April 4-30.Farmers and ranchers in Gunnison, Mesa and Montrose counties qualify for assistance because they’re contiguous.
Otero County was designated as a primary natural disaster area because of damages caused by hail Aug. 5-10.Farmers and ranchers in Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Las Animas and Pueblo counties in Colorado also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.
The designations, announced Nov. 6, make qualified farm operators in the areas eligible for Farm Service Agency’s emergency loans. Eligible farmers have eight months from Nov. 6 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.
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