ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Acting Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Brenda Archuleta, announced that the US. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated seven (7) New Mexico counties as disaster areas due to the ongoing drought and high winds in portions of the state, from October 1, 2008 and continuing. Secretary Vilsack named Chaves, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, and Roosevelt as primary disaster counties and Curry, Doña Ana, Guadalupe, Quay, Sierra, Socorro, and Torrance as contiguous disaster counties.
“Our farmers and ranchers have experienced tremendous hardship in trying to endure the drought New Mexico has faced during the last few years. This designation allows for the Farm Service Agency to be able to offer some assistance through this tough time,” said Archuleta.
Under this Secretarial designation, the farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. This assistance includes FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. The FSA will consider each application on its own merit by taking into account the extent of losses, security available, and repayment ability. Producers in these counties have until April 14, 2010 to apply for the emergency loans to help cover part of their actual losses, provided all eligibility requirements are met.
“Although some parts of the State have received precipitation, the timeliness of the moisture and the amount received has not been enough moisture to get out of drought status in these areas. When FSA can offer any type of assistance during these times, it is our mission to provide help to our agricultural producers through these adversities,” said Archuleta.
Interested farmers may contact their local USDA Service Centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for this and other programs. Additional information is also available online at: http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov or through the New Mexico FSA’s website at: www.fsa.usda.gov/nm.