USDA has designated nine Nevada counties as primary natural disaster areas because of drought.
Included are the counties of Churchill, Lander, Mineral, Pershing, Clark, Lyon, Nye, Washoe and Humboldt.
In accordance with the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development, the following counties were named as contiguous disaster areas: Douglas, Esmeralda, Lincoln, White Pine, Elko, Eureka, Storey and Carson City.
Farmers and ranchers qualify for natural disaster assistance because of the USDA declaration. Those needing assistance should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency office listed on the internet at www.fsa.usad./gov/NV.
"I am pleased that USDA Secretary Vilsack approved a disaster designation of Nevada counties," says Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who was awaiting word from the state's drought response committee reviewing the declaration.
"USDA has a variety of programs to help eligible Nevada producers recover from adversity caused by natural disaster," says Jim Barbee, Nevada Department of Agriculture director.
"Every piece of the puzzle counts."
Actions taken by Vilsack in 2012 to provide assistance to producers impacted by drought included:
•Extended emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land, freeing up a record 2.8 million acres and as much as $200 million in forage and feed for ranchers during a challenging time.
•Purchase of $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish from Nevada producers for federal food nutrition programs, including food banks, helping relieve pressure on livestock producers and bring meat supply into line with demand.
•Reduced emergency loan rates from 3.75%to 2.875%, as well as making emergency loans available earlier in the season.
•Allowed haying or grazing of cover crops without impacting the insurability of planted 2013 spring crops. USDA worked with the crop insurance companies to provide flexibility to farmers, and one-third of all policyholders took advantage of the extended payment periods.