In the latest round of USDA drought disaster designations, 13 counties in Montana were included for emergency loans at low interest.
Four of the counties qualify as primary disaster areas, with nine surrounding counties becoming eligible due to their contiguous location near Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater and Yellowstone counties.
Contiguous counties include Golden Valley, Musselshell, Park, Powder River, Rosebud, Sweet Grass and Treasure. As part of a South Dakota declaration that is similar, both Carter and Fallon counties were also declared disaster areas.
The reason for the declarations – losses caused by excessive heat, high winds, wildfires and insects – notes the incidents began in May and continue today.,
All the counties listed here were designated on May 8, 2013, a date from which producers have eight months to apply for low-interest loans from the Farm Service Agency, if they can meet eligibility guidelines.
Loans are intended to cover actual losses due to weather, but may be used for several purposes, including:
•Restoration or replacement of essential property
•Payment for all or part of production costs associated with the disaster (in the disaster year)
•Payment of essential family living expenses or refinance of some debts, but not real estate loans
When evaluating the applications, FSA takes into account the extent of losses, security that is available to the producer, and ability to repay the loans.
Producers interested in looking into the loans may find an FSA office location at the website below, and are urged by Montana FSA Director Bruce Nelson to set up an appointment to see what services, other than loans, may be available to stricken farms.
For more information go to the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/mt/.
Additionally, producers are invited to sign up for the GovDelivery electronic new from FSA specifically for Montana readers at www.fsa.usda.gov/subscribe