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WASHINGTON, April 2 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture'sFarm Service Agency issued the following emergency designation news release:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 11 counties in Texas as primary natural disaster areas due to the recent drought.
The counties are:
"Our hearts go out to those Texas farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy by sustaining the successes of America's farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We're also telling Texas producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood."
Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Texas also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are:
* Palo Pinto
* Red River
* San Saba
Farmers and ranchers in the following contiguous counties in Oklahoma also qualify for natural disaster assistance. Those counties are:
Bryan and Choctaw
All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on April 2, 2014, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA'sFarm 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 programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.
Additional programs available to assist farmers and ranchers include the Emergency Conservation Program, Federal Crop Insurance, and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.
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