WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated nine Washington counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers in Pacific, Wahkiakum, Clallam, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties who suffered losses due to the recent drought may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous Washington counties of Clark, Island, Kitsap, Pierce, Skamania, and Yakima, along with Clatsop and Columbia counties in Oregon, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 2, 2020.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

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