On May 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Yuma County, Ariz. as a primary natural disaster area, due to damages and losses caused by drought.
“Our hearts go out to those Arizona farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Farmers and ranchers in Arizona’s Maricopa and Pima counties and California's Imperial County also qualify for natural disaster assistance since the counties are contiguous with Yuma County.
This disaster declaration makes all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met.
Farmers in the 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.