USDA Designates Seven Counties in Texas as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

COLLEGE STATION April 5, 2013 - USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director James B. Douglass announced that seven counties in Texas were declared a disaster on April 3, 2013, due to drought using the new, streamlined Secretarial Disaster Designation process. 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. Under this declaration seven counties in Texas have reached that threshold since February 5, 2013.

The following seven counties were designated as primary disaster counties:

Brazos

Frio

Harris

Wharton

Colorado

Grimes

Montgomery

 

The following 25 counties were designated as contiguous disaster counties:

Atascosa

Fort Bend

McMullen

Walker

Austin

Galveston

Madison

Waller

Brazoria

Jackson

Matagorda

Washington

Burleson

LaSalle

Medina

Zavala

Chambers

Lavaca

Robertson

 

Dimmit

Leon

San Jacinto

 

Fayette

Liberty

Uvalde

 

"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 (EM) loan," said Douglass.

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.

Producers with operations in counties that did not receive a disaster designation could be eligible for emergency loan assistance if they suffered at least a 30 percent loss in crop production or a physical loss to livestock, livestock products, real estate or chattel property.

For more information about emergency loans, please contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.

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