U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman has named 50 counties in Texas as eligible for USDA emergency farm loans due to losses caused by drought that occurred earlier this year.
"Texas has experienced severe drought conditions this year," says Veneman. "Our farmers and ranchers need this assistance to recover from these natural disaster losses."
Borden, Brown, Concho, Dimmit, Duval, Gaines, Mitchell, Runnels, Tom Green and Wilbarger Counties were named as primary disaster areas on November 26, 2001. Also eligible because they are contiguous are Andrews, Archer, Baylor, Brooks, Callahan, Coke, Coleman, Comanche, Dawson, Eastland, Fisher, Foard, Frio, Garza, Hardeman, Howard, Irion, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, La Salle, Live Oak, Lynn, McCulloch, McMullen, Martin, Maverick, Menard, Mills, Nolan, Reagan, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Sterling, Taylor, Terry, Webb, Wichita, Yoakum and Zavala Counties.
This designation makes all qualified farm operators in primary and contiguous disaster counties eligible for low-interest EM loans from the Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of this declaration to apply for the 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 available, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Interested farmers may contact their local FSA offices for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures. Additional information is also available online at: www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/disaster/assistance1.htm