Counties in Southwest declared disaster areas

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday (Jan. 7) that USDA has designated a number of counties in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico qualified for federal disaster assistance.

In spite of the return of beneficial rains across the Southwest in 2014, persistent drought continued to plague farmers and ranchers across a broad area of the region causing hardships and significant agricultural losses for many.

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday (Jan. 7) that USDA has designated a number of counties in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico qualified for federal disaster assistance after an official disaster declaration was signed by President Obama this week making assistance available to agriculture producers adversely affected by drought.

In all, 156 of Texas' 254 counties were included in the disaster declaration. But farmers and ranchers in an additional 44 contiguous Texas counties also qualify for federal relief as do 14 contiguous counties in Oklahoma and seven contiguous counties in New Mexico.

For the latest on southwest agriculture, please check out Southwest Farm Press Daily and receive the latest news right to your inbox.

"Our hearts go out to those Texas farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," said Secretary Vilsack who made the announcement. "President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times."

All the farmers and ranchers in the affected counties are now eligible for low interest emergency loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farm operators have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.

"We’re also telling Texas producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood," Vilsack said.

According to federal program guidelines, 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 emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from disaster-related adversity.

Other programs

Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, the Livestock Indemnity Program, the 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.

The Farm Service Agency provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 indefinitely extended the following four disaster programs previously authorized by the 2008 farm law. The programs are made retroactive to Oct. 1, 2011. To be eligible for disaster assistance programs under the 2014 law, producers are no longer required to purchase crop insurance or NAP coverage, which was the risk management purchase mandate under the 2008 farm bill.

USDA's Farm Service Agency provides emergency loans to help producers who own or operate in a county declared by the President or designated by the Secretary of Agriculture as a primary disaster area or quarantine area. All counties contiguous to declared, designated, or quarantined primary counties also are eligible for Emergency loans.

Emergency loan funds can be used to restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family and living expenses, reorganize certain debts (excluding real estate).

The maximum loan amount for an Emergency loan is $500,000.

Affected Counties

Affected Texas counties include:

 

Andrews

DeWitt

Jim Wells

Parmer

Aransas

Dickens

Johnson

Potter

Archer

Dimmit

Jones

Randall

Armstrong

Donley

Karnes

Reagan

Bailey

Eastland

Kaufman

Real

Bandera

Ector

Kendall

Refugio

Baylor

Edwards

Kent

Roberts

Bee

Ellis

Kerr

Rockwall

Bell

El Paso

Kimble

Runnels

Bexar

Erath

King

San Patricio

Blanco

Fannin

Kinney

San Saba

Borden

Fisher

Knox

Schleicher

Bosque

Floyd

Lamb

Scurry

Briscoe

Foard

Lampasas

Shackelford

Brown

Frio

La Salle

Sherman

Burnet

Gaines

Lipscomb

Starr

Calhoun

Garza

Llano

Stephens

Callahan

Gillespie

Lubbock

Sterling

Carson

Goliad

Lynn

Stonewall

Castro

Gonzales

McCulloch

Sutton

Childress

Gray

McLennan

Swisher

Clay

Grayson

Martin

Tarrant

Cochran

Hale

Mason

Taylor

Coke

Hall

Matagorda

Terrell

Coleman

Hamilton

Medina

Terry

Collin

Hansford

Menard

Throckmorton

Collingsworth

Hardeman

Midland

Tom Green

Comanche

Hartley

Mills

Upton

Concho

Haskell

Mitchell

Uvalde

Cooke

Hemphill

Montague

Val Verde

Coryell

Hidalgo

Moore

Victoria

Cottle

Hill

Motley

Wheeler

Crockett

Hockley

Navarro

Wichita

Crosby

Hood

Nolan

Wilbarger

Dallam

Howard

Nueces

Williamson

Dallas

Hutchinson

Ochiltree

Wise

Dawson

Irion

Oldham

Yoakum

Deaf Smith

Jack

Palo Pinto

Young

Denton

Jackson

Parker

Zavala

 

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in Texas also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

 

Atascosa

Duval

Kenedy

Somervell

Bastrop

Falls

Kleberg

Travis

Brazoria

Fayette

Lamar

Van Zandt

Brewster

Freestone

Lavaca

Ward

Brooks

Glasscock

Lee

Webb

Caldwell

Guadalupe

Limestone

Wharton

Cameron

Hays

Live Oak

Willacy

Colorado

Henderson

McMullen

Wilson

Comal

Hudspeth

Maverick

Winkler

Crane

Hunt

Milam

Zapata

Delta

Jim Hogg

Pecos

 

 

Farmers and ranchers in the following counties in New Mexico and Oklahoma also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Those counties are:

 

New Mexico

Curry

Lea

Quay

Union

Dona Ana

Otero

Roosevelt

 


Oklahoma

Beaver

Cotton

Jefferson

Roger Mills

Beckham

Ellis

Love

Texas

Bryan

Harmon

Marshall

Tillman

Cimarron

Jackson

 

 

 

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish