Farm Service Agency
Public Affairs Staff
1400 Independence Ave SW
Stop 0506, Room 3624-South
Washington, D.C. 20250-0506
Release No. 1450.08
Latawnya Dia (202) 720-7962
Decision Allows Farmers and Ranchers to Apply for USDA Assistance
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated three counties in California as primary natural disaster areas.
Fresno County was designated a primary natural disaster area because of losses caused by drought that occurred from March 1, 2008, and continuing. Farm operators in Inyo, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mono, Monterey, San Benito and Tulare counties in California also qualify for natural disaster benefits because their counties are contiguous.
Santa Barbara County was designated a primary natural disaster area because of losses caused by extreme low temperatures that occurred on April 20 and 21, 2008. Farm operators in Kern, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties in California also qualify for natural disaster benefits because their counties are contiguous.
Tehama County was designated a primary natural disaster area because of losses caused by drought that occurred from Nov. 1, 2006, through April 10, 2007. Farm operators in Butte, Glenn, Mendocino, Plumas, Shasta and Trinity counties in California also qualify for natural disaster benefits because their counties are contiguous.
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 11, 2008, 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.
USDA has also made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster 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
FSA news releases are available on FSA's Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov via the "News and Events" link.