USDA designates DeWitt County a primary disaster area

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COLLEGE STATION – Three counties were declared a disaster on Jan. 29, due to drought using the streamlined Secretarial Disaster Designation process, according to USDA Texas Farm Service Agency executive director Judith A. Canales. 
 
Under this designation, producers in any of the primary or contiguous disaster counties are eligible to apply for low interest emergency loans. 
 
The streamlined disaster designation process issues a drought disaster declaration when a county has experienced a drought intensity value of at least a D2 (severe drought) level for eight consecutive weeks based on the U.S. Drought Monitor during the crop year. 
 
DeWitt, Gray and Karnes counties were designated as primary disaster counties.
 
Armstrong, Atascosa, Bee, Carson, Collingsworth, Donley, Goliad, Gonzales, Hemphill, Lavaca, Live Oak, Roberts, Victoria, Wheeler and Wilson counties were designated as contiguous disaster counties. 
 
“The disaster designation is welcome relief to producers because it allows all qualified operators in primary and contiguous counties to apply for a low interest emergency loan,” Canales said. 
 
Emergency loans help producers recover from production and physical losses due to drought, flooding and other natural disasters or quarantine. Producers have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. Producers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses, to a maximum amount of $500,000.
 
For more information about emergency loans, contact the local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
 
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