The United States Department of Agriculture has declared four southern Colorado counties to be primary natural disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by ongoing drought conditions in the area.
This week, Bent, Custer, Huerfano and Prowers counties joined Baca and Las Animas Counties, which were declared earlier this month, in qualifying for assistance from the USDA. Adjoining counties, including Alamosa, Costilla, Fremont, Kiowa, and Saguache, also qualify for disaster assistance. Other counties adjoining the four new designees were already qualified in the previous declarations. Farmers and ranchers in Greeley, Hamilton and Stanton county, Kansas, are also eligible. (Story continues below.)
Qualified producers in the designated areas and adjoining counties can apply for emergency loans through the Farm Service Agency. Those who are eligible have eight months from the date of a declaration - March 29, 2018 - to apply for loans to cover part of their losses. Farmers and ranchers can contact their local USDA service center for additional information about the application process, or check http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
USDA Farm Service Agency offices consider the extent of losses and other factors when evaluating loan applications. FSA may also be able to provide other assistance programs, such as operating and farm ownership loans and emergency assistance for livestock.