For the past several weeks, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced dozens or even hundreds of additional counties across the U.S. that have been declared primary drought disaster areas. What’s it mean? If you’re a farmer worried about crop loss or early livestock sales, can you get help?
An agricultural disaster declaration for your county – or a county adjacent to yours – means that USDA guaranteed, low-interest emergency loans will be available to help farmers and ranchers meet cashflow requirements in the face of lost crops or livestock. The loan program is administered through USDA’s Farm Service Agency, meaning you can assistance at the state or local level. Farmers and ranchers in declared counties can get help. In some cases, there may be FSA emergency programs available in addition to the emergency loans.