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256 counties in the United States designated as Natural Disaster Areas

Producers in these areas may qualify for disaster relief

By Diego Flammini,

Farming in itself is a big risk when you think about it.

Vast amounts of time and money go into making sure fields are properly prepared for planting and making sure machinery is running as it’s supposed to be.

After all that is done, most of the success of the crops rely on Mother Nature doing her part – and she isn’t always cooperative when she springs things like cold weather or drought on farms.

256 counties stretched across nine states including Idaho, California, Kansas and Nevada were designated as natural disaster areas due to drought by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA wants to let producers know that qualified farmers and ranchers can apply for loans and other financial assistance made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The funds are available through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The FSA also offers a wide variety of assistance for different kinds of natural disasters including floods, tornadoes, pests and fire.

Some of the programs available include:

Livestock Forage Disaster Program
This program provides financial compensation to producers who, due to fire or drought on publicly managed land, have had grazing losses.

Emergency Conservation Program
Farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses as a result of natural disasters can apply for this program to help them repair damage and implement water conservation practices.

Tree Assistance Program
Qualified orchardists and nursery tree growers can apply for this program to replant or rehabilitate trees that have been damaged by natural disasters.

A full list of financial assistance services can be found on the Farm Service Agency website.

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