On June 12, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack designated Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray and San Miguel counties as natural disaster areas due to drought conditions lasting eight or more consecutive weeks during the growing season.
In accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, six counties including Archuleta, Gunnison, Mineral, Saguache, San Juan, and Montrose, have been named contiguous disaster counties. Farmers within those counties are also eligible for federal disaster assistance.
The federal disaster relief includes Farm Service Agency emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available and repayment ability.
Local FSA offices can provide farmers with more information.