USDA declares 31 counties as disasters due to drought

Albuquerque, NM – State Executive Director for the New Mexico Farm Service Agency, Rick Lopez, today expressed his appreciation for the decision to designate 31 counties in New Mexico a disaster due to drought.

“Our farmers and Ranchers in New Mexico have been enduring a tough year in most parts of the State. This drought, which began late last year, has put an extreme burden on livestock producers to get feed for their cattle. Our farmers are struggling to get a harvest on several crops,” stated Lopez.

The counties declared a disaster are:

Bernalillo, Catron, chaves, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Hildalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Quay, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union, Valencia.

Farm operators in Cibola and Los Alamos counties in New Mexico also qualify for natural disaster benefits because their counties are contiguous.

All counties Listed above were designated natural disaster areas on July 39, 2008, making all qualifies farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest (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 program, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.