USDA Declares 12 Colorado Counties Disaster Areas Due to Drought

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated six Colorado counties as primary natural disaster areas and six more as contiguous disaster areas due to ongoing severe drought conditions. The designations mean that farmers and ranchers in these counties are eligible for additional Farm Service Agency assistance.

The six Colorado counties designated as primary disaster areas include: Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, and San Miguel.

The six Colorado counties designated as contiguous disaster areas include: Archuleta, Gunnison, Mineral, Montrose, Saguache, and San Juan.

“Despite some relief earlier this year, right now we’re seeing how quickly our weather can get hot and dry, creating hazardous fire and drought conditions,” Bennet said. “In what could be another difficult growing season, this assistance will help Colorado producers manage tough conditions. It also demonstrates the urgency for Congress to pass a full five-year Farm Bill that will provide aid when weather disasters affect their output. The Senate passed the Farm Bill this week, and I urge my colleagues in the House to work quickly to pass a bill so that the President can sign the final product into law.”

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 affected farmers and ranchers with additional information.