The USDA has designated counties in Kansas, Montana, New York and Texas as primary natural disaster areas, making all qualified farm operators eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA's Farm Service Agency.



In Kansas, Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace Counties were designated as primary disaster areas.

Cheyenne was designated as a primary disaster area due to losses caused by drought, excessive heat and high winds that occurred during the period from Jan. 1, 2005, and
continuing.

Also eligible because they are contiguous and have sustained production losses due to the same disaster conditions are Rawlins and Sherman counties.

Sherman and Wallace Counties were designated as primary disaster areas due to losses caused by severe storms that occurred on June 19, 2005, through July 1, 2005.

Also eligible because they are contiguous and have sustained production losses due to the same disaster conditions are Cheyenne, Greeley, Logan, Rawlins, Thomas and Wichita Counties.

In Montana, Hill County was designated as a primary disaster area on Jan. 27, 2006, due to losses caused by a severe hail and windstorm that occurred on Aug. 10, 2005, and by drought that occurred from Jan. 1, 2005, and continuing.

Also eligible because they are contiguous and have sustained production losses due to the same disaster conditions are Blaine, Chouteau and Liberty Counties.

In New York, Cayuga, Ontario, Tompkins and Wayne Counties were designated primary disaster areas due to losses caused by extremely cold temperatures and a freeze that
occurred on Dec. 20, 2004.

Also eligible because they are contiguous and have sustained production losses due to the same disaster conditions are the following counties:



Chemung, Onondaga, Steuben, Cortland, Oswego, Tioga, Livingston, Schuyler, Yates, Monroe and Seneca.



To see the complete list of Texas counties involved, follow this link.



All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Feb. 1, 2006, making all qualified farm operators eligible for EM loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for the 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 available, in addition to the emergency loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

USDA has also made other programs available to assist farmers and ranchers, including 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.



Source: Farm Service Agency