Thursday, May 7, 2015

Just in from Washington


USDA Designates 5 Counties in Idaho as Primary Natural Disaster Areas
With Assistance to Producers in Oregon

WASHINGTON,— The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Blaine, Butte, Canyon, Custer and Payette counties in Idaho as primary natural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

“Our hearts go out to those Idaho farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “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. We’re also telling Idaho producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

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

Ada
Cassia
Jefferson
Owyhee
Bingham
Clark
Lemhi
Power
Boise
Elmore
Lincoln
Valley
Camas
Gem
Minidoka
Washington

Farmers and ranchers in Malheur County in Oregon also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their county is contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on May 6, 2015, 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 Programthe 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.

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