El Paso County has been downgraded to “moderate” drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday. Of course, a drought is still a drought, regardless of how severe.
And although the July and August monsoon season relieved much of the severe drought throughout Colorado, on Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded disaster designations for seven more Colorado counties where drought has seriously impacted farmers. A primary disaster declaration was awarded to Eagle County, which makes nearby counties eligible for federal aid. Farmers in Lake, and Summitt counties are now eligible for for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
Farmers have eight months from the date of declaration to apply for an assistance loan. Local FSA offices can provide more information.
The counties join several others which have already been declared primary or contiguous drought disaster zones.
Primary counties: Alamosa, Conejos, Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Jackson, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Rio Blanco, Rio Grande, Eagle, Routt and Saguache.
Contiguous counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Clear Creek, Costilla, Custer, Denver, Douglas, Fremont, Gilpin, Grand, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Larimer, Mineral, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, San Miguel and Teller.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide farmers and ranchers with additional information.
Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Eagle County as a primary natural disaster area due to recent drought conditions. The designation also triggered contiguous disaster designations for Garfield, Grand, Lake, Pitkin, Routt, and Summit counties. USDA disaster designations make farmers and ranchers eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
“Colorado’s farmers and ranchers continue to face one of the worst droughts in decades,” Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said. “These disaster designations will provide critical assistance to producers to help offset their losses and continue to weather the dry conditions. It also serves as a stark reminder that Congress cannot wait any longer to pass a long-term Farm Bill that continue to make this type of aid available to producers and allow farmers and ranchers to plan for the future.”
Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide farmers and ranchers with additional information.