USDA announces drought relief for Montezuma, Dolores, Mesa and San Miguel counties ag producers

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From the Cortez Journal (Kimberly Benedict):

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Feb. 1 that the two counties, along with Mesa, Montrose and San Miguel counties, were granted disaster designation as a result of crop damage due to drought. Fremont County was also granted the designation due to frost and freezing temperatures.

The Western Slope experienced a wet spring that turned into a very dry summer in 2009, according to a statement from the state department of agriculture. As a result of the dramatic shift in moisture levels, various crops in the listed counties were damaged to an extent that warranted disaster designation. The designation was made in recognition of the hardships faced by producers in the midst of adverse conditions, whether drought or frost…

The official designation opens up opportunities for area producers to secure low interest emergency loans and other federal funding, according to Paul White, executive director of the Montezuma County Farm Service Agency. “This designation releases disaster assistance immediately through emergency loans administered by FSA,” White said. “For those producers who had crop insurance or Noninsured Assistance Program coverage on crops, they will be allowed to sign up for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payment Program.”[…]

To qualify for assistance funding, producers must suffer at least a 10 percent production loss to at least one crop of economic significance due to natural disaster…

For more information, contact the Montezuma County Farm Service Agency at 565-8879.

More Montezuma County coverage here.

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