2:16pm

Tue May 10, 2011
Agriculture

Colorado Counties Eligible for Natural Disaster Aid

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 42 counties in the states of Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma as natural disaster areas.

Tuesday’s announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is based on crop losses – mainly to wheat – due to drought and related disasters, such as high winds and wildfires since the first of the year.

The declaration includes five counties in Colorado including Baca, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kit Carson and Prowers. At the beginning of May 80% of Colorado’s winter wheat crop was considered to be in very poor to fair condition. Vilsack says the agency’s action will provide financial assistance to hundreds of farmers who have “suffered significant production losses.”

Qualified farm operators will now have eight months to apply for low interest emergency loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to help cover part of their actual losses.