Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated five Colorado counties in southern Colorado as disaster areas due to recent drought conditions. The designations make farmers and ranchers eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency.
The five Colorado counties include: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Huerfano, and Las Animas.
“While areas of Colorado received late season snow that brought some much-needed moisture to our state, the drought over the past several years has tortured crops and pastures around the state – and dry conditions continue to persist in many counties,” Bennet, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said. “These disaster designations will provide critical assistance to farmers and ranchers to help offset their losses due to the recent drought. Agriculture helps drive our state’s economy, and these resources will help producers continue to weather the dry conditions.
“This should also serve as a signal that Congress must move quickly to pass a long-term Farm Bill that will give producers in Colorado and across the country certainty, especially when weather disasters continue to affect their output. We will continue to work to ensure Colorado’s voices are heard as the Agriculture Committee moves forward with a bill that reforms farm programs, improves conservation programs, and reduces the deficit.”
Producers in counties designated as primary or contiguous disaster areas are eligible to be considered for FSA emergency loans. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the disaster declaration to apply for assistance. Local FSA offices can provide farmers and ranchers with additional information.